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Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Child 

From daguerreotype, 1856 


As Revealed in Her Letters 
Diary and Reminiscences 
Edited by Theodore Stanton 
and Harriot Stanton Blatch 


I live .... 

For the cause that lacks assistance, 
For the wrong that needs resistance, 
For the future in the distance 
And the good that I can do. 




Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Copyright, 1932; by Harper & Brothers 

Printed in the United States of America 






























Foreword xi 

Childhood i 

School Days 22 

Girlhood 37 

Life at Peterboro 53 

Our Wedding Journey 67 

Homeward Bound 90 

Motherhood 105 

Boston and Chelsea 125 

The First Woman's Rights Convention ... 141 

A Lifelong Friendship 151 

My First Speech Before a Legislature . . . 159 

Reforms and Mobs 170 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 184 

Women as Patriots 195 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 204 

Lyceum Trips 217 

Westward Ho! 237 

The Spirit of '76 259 

Writing "The History of Woman Suffrage" . 271 

In the South of France 279 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain . . 290 

Europe Revisited 307 

The International Council of Women . . . 318 

My Last Visit to England 325 

Sixtieth Anniversary of the Class of 1832 . . 339 

My Eightieth Birthday 346 

Appendix ..,...,.,..,., 355 


Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Child Frontispiece 

Ancestors of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Elizabeth 
Simpson, Grandmother; Catryna Ten Broeck, 
Great-grandmother; Margaret Livingston, 
Mother; Daniel Cady, Father Facing p. 8 

Johnstown Courthouse, where Elizabeth Cady, 
with Old Peter as Attendant, Heard Many 
Cases Tried Before Her Father .... 80 

Edward Bayard " 150 

Emma Willard, Head of Troy Seminary .... " 220 

Troy Female Seminary, 1830 " 220 


In the History of Woman Suffrage, and in Congres- 
sional and State Legislative documents, is given a 
record of the public life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 
How she inaugurated the movement for woman suf- 
frage in the United States; how she made the first 
demand at an organized convention for votes for 
women, in 1848, and led the movement for more than 
fifty years; how she finally founded, in 1869, a national 
suffrage organization and formulated its policies as 
its president for over a quarter of a century, are all 
matters of published record. 

But the sort of woman this pioneer and leader of 
the feminist movement was, how she reached her 
destiny, what were the roots of her character — in short, 
the private and personal sources of power, are things 
which have not been told. 

In the following pages the attempt has been made 
to set forth this more intimate story by means of Mrs. 
Stanton's own letters, diary, and reminiscences. This 
aim has been the predominant guide in making selec- 
tions from a large mass of material. It will be found 
that the choice includes much of a domestic character 
as well as matter devoted to public persons and ques- 
tions, while all reflects the intellectual tastes, the 
strong particular opinions, and even the firm prejudices 


In the History of Woman Suffrage, and in Congres- 
sional and State Legislative documents, is given a 
record of the public life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 
How she inaugurated the movement for woman suf- 
frage in the United States; how she made the first 
demand at an organized convention for votes for 
women, in 1848, and led the movement for more than 
fifty years; how she finally founded, in 1869, a national 
suffrage organization and formulated its policies as 
its president for over a quarter of a century, are all 
matters of published record. 

But the sort of woman this pioneer and leader of 
the feminist movement was, how she reached her 
destiny, what were the roots of her character — in short, 
the private and personal sources of power, are things 
which have not been told. 

In the following pages the attempt has been made 
to set forth this more intimate story by means of Mrs. 
Stanton's own letters, diary, and reminiscences. This 
aim has been the predominant guide in making selec- 
tions from a large mass of material. It will be found 
that the choice includes much of a domestic character 
as well as matter devoted to public persons and ques- 
tions, while all reflects the intellectual tastes, the 
Strong particular opinions, and even the firm prejudices 

xii Foreword 

of the subject of this memoir. It is hoped that a 
complete picture has been produced of her occupa- 
tions, mind, and heart. 

A year before her death, on the twenty-sixth of 
October, 1902, our mother began revising for a new 
edition her autobiography, which had been published 
in 1898. It is this revision of Eighty Years and More 
which appears as the first volume of this present publi- 
cation. The second volume opens with her letters, 
covering the period from 1839 to 1880. A few letters 
addressed to Mrs. Stanton are included, as they serve 
to render her portrait more lifelike. 

The letters are followed by selections from our 
mother's diary. When it opens in 1880, she had 
decided to abandon her lecture tours which had occu- 
pied, after 1867, eight months of every year, and 
necessitated each season uncompromisingly hard jour- 
neys from Maine to California, from the Great Lakes 
to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Lectures, of course, she continued to give; president 
of the National Suffrage Association she remained for 
twelve years more; but from 1880 on she devoted the 
major part of her time to literary work. To her 
credit stand the first three volumes of the History of 
Woman Suffrage, which were brought out in conjunc- 
tion with her co-editors in 1881, 1882, and 1886. Then 
followed the Woman s Bible, the first part appearing 
in 1895, the second in the same year with her autobi- 
ography, 1898. Throughout this period and later 
she was a constant contributor to the daily and weekly 
press, the author of many articles in the Forum, the 
Arena, the Westminster Review, and the North American 

Foreword xiii 

Review, and the writer of official suffrage documents 
and appeals. 

The date, 1880, the beginning of the diary, does then 
seem to mark a change in our mother's life, and fur- 
nishes a logical basis for adopting a new form of pre- 
senting her own story; but, nevertheless, the main 
reason influencing us in passing to the diary was that 
in it the veil hiding the personality seemed more 
completely lifted. The diary, when not under the 
author's pen, was under her lock and key. It was 
for her eye alone. 

From the opening pages of the reminiscences to the 
end of the diary, the reader will get the picture of a 
unique personality. Abounding physical health was 
united in Elizabeth Cady Stanton with striking mental 
virility. She enjoyed that rare combination, bodily 
vigor and temperamental inclination to the sedentary 
life of the scholar. Impulsiveness was joined in her 
with vision and wisdom. Loyalty she had to the 
burning point. Perhaps there does not exist a more 
intense expression of personal devotion than in the 
letter of June 4, 185 1, deprecating the opposition of 
her father and Gerrit Smith to her husband's re-election 
to the New York Senate. 

She reveals at innumerable points unconquerable 
optimism, an optimism capable of surmounting an 
obstacle when humanly surmountable, and, when not, 
capable of making the best of the inevitable. Could 
the inescapable be turned to better account than as 
recorded in the diary on December 30, 1884: "The new 
cook makes housekeeping rather onerous, but the 
necessary exercise is just what I need." Many such 

xiv Foreword 

homely incidents we retain, because, as she herself 
declares in the letter of June 10, 1856: "It is not in 
vain that in myself I have experienced all the weari- 
some cares to which woman in her best estate is 
subject. " The average housekeeper will learn in these 
volumes how one woman met the average fate. 

In her early training and environment, however, 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not have the ordinary 
experience. She married late for her time. Her 
mother had married at sixteen, while she had passed 
her twenty-fifth birthday before the desolating effect 
of the usual domestic round gripped her life. She 
had already acquired through her training at two 
exceptionally good schools, the Johnstown Academy 
and the Emma Willard Seminary at Troy, well-estab- 
lished, studious habits. Following this formal educa- 
tion came a long period of serious reading in her 
father's law office. And from early childhood to the 
time of her marriage in 1840, she enjoyed the immense 
advantage of the close companionship of two remark- 
able men — first, the Rev. Dr. Hosack, and later, 
Edward Bayard. 

Our earliest and most vivid memory of our mother 
is of her at work at her desk, except in the evening, 
when she devoted herself to games and reading in the 
family circle. She never seemed hurried, never "flew 
from one thing to another" — her days were planned. 
With all her vivacity she gave the impression of poise 
and orderliness. When her children were young she 
fitted into their napping time and into the night hours, 
her literary labors. "Good-night" occurs at the end 
of most of the letters of this period of early motherhood. 

Foreword xv 

There is a characteristic feature of all this nocturnal 
correspondence — the chirography does not show a 
touch of carelessness. Reading in bed was sometimes 
indulged in, but letters and documents were produced 
at her writing table. We cannot recall ever seeing 
our mother write anything "in her lap." Towards 
the end of her life, midnight was the hour for retiring; 
in middle life, two o'clock was the rule. She had no 
fears about being "downstairs alone/' It is told that 
at the Seneca Falls home, which was on the outskirts 
of the town, she heard a rapping one night at the door, 
and found her visitor was a poor neighbor under the 
influence of liquor and inclined to be quarrelsome. 
She led him into the dining room, told him to sit down 
in an easy chair and be quiet, and gave him a cup of 
black coffee. There she left him, returning to her 
work in another room. When the retiring hour came, 
she roused her unwelcome guest, told him he must 
now leave, and advised him not to go home and dis- 
turb his family, but, as the night was balmy, to lie on 
one of the benches in her garden. He was sobered 
and obedient. She was always the ready master of 

But she won her victories by attraction. She was 
gracious rather than commanding. In height she 
did not reach more than five feet three inches, and 
her hands and feet were very small. Her black curly 
hair began early to turn grey. By middle life it was 
white — indeed, such a pure white that all other white 
hair looked dark by comparison. Her eyes were light 
blue, distinguished by the merriest of twinkles, which 
even old age could not eclipse. The first impression 

xvi Foreword 

a stranger received was of an alert personality with 
intelligent, dancing eyes, and wearing a crown of 
wonderful white hair. This halo always made a 
deep impression. More than once when changing 
cars on her lyceum trips, a conductor who had taken 
her under his wing was heard admonishing his fellow 
official on the other train: "Look out for the lady 
with the white hair." And once, a rough old farmer 
who had called at her hotel ostensibly in search of 
wisdom, at a point at which he seemed most deeply 
absorbed in her conversation, suddenly asked, pointing 
to her hair: "Is it all rooted?" 

Even with advancing years there was no falling off 
in care of personal appearance. We cannot recall 
an early morning hour of negligee. In the busy 
domestic years there were workman-like gingham 
dresses with spotless white aprons; in later years, black 
silk with white fissue. The coiffure grew more elab- 
orate in later years, but only once did she ask anyone 
to dress her hair, and that was on the morning of the day 
she died. To the last she set an example of care of the 
body, and always laid an emphasis on the importance 
of appearing at one's best in the family circle. But 
we must not convey an impression of any rigidity of 
discipline. Our mother had had enough of military 
rule in her childhood home. There was no inflexible 
order at her own fireside; every law bent easily to 
human needs. 

Our mother was a famous story-teller. Three gen- 
erations of children thrilled to her tales. "Polly 
and the Pounding Barrel" became a classic. Here 
the hated Scotch nurse met her Nemesis through the 

Foreword xvii 

beloved black Peter imprisoning her in the big barrel 
in which laundry was pounded. All the young listeners 
gloated over the groans, the threats, the helplessness 
of Polly. 

In recreations Mrs. Stanton had decided favorites. 
In the early days dancing was her chief delight. She 
was light as a feather on her feet, and always told with 
zest how she countered her father's pronunciamento 
that " she had been sent to Troy Seminary for the 
cultivation of her head, not her heels," with assertion 
that "he was mistaken as to the aim, for it was use 
of toes, not heels, which dancing was to inculcate. " 
The playing of games she enjoyed throughout her life. 
She played as if her very life depended upon the out- 
come. She always played to win, and was sorely dis- 
appointed when she did not succeed. She was never 
known to give a game surreptitiously to a weak player. 
When she played chess she would even-up the contest 
by throwing out some of her pieces at the start, she 
would be generous in accepting the heaviest handicap, 
but when the game was once started, there was never 
anything for her or her opponent but a fight to the 
finish. She neither gave nor accepted quarter. She 
was as intense, as uncompromising, in a game as in a 
suffrage contest, and defeat was as painful to her in 
the one situation as the other. 

In these volumes will be found not only innumerable 
examples of devotion to games of chance, but many 
illustrations of the humorist's chief gift: the ability 
to laugh at himself. Only a sour fanatic in any school 
of medicine could fail to appreciate the account in the 
diary on October i, 1890, of her method of curing a cold, 

xviii Foreword 

Perhaps more interesting than all else is the picture 
the reader of this memoir gets of the author as a friend 
to four generations. As a child she was capable of 
being the close companion of the old Scotch dominie; 
as a woman, the confidante of equals; as a mother, the 
most appreciated of friends; as grandmother, a co- 
worker in doll dressing. It was not a pose, this entering 
into the life of succeeding generations; she was in 
truth old, she was young, she was middle-aged in quick 
succession. Life was to her pure relativity. She 
illustrated the theory before its enunciation. 

But more exceptional than this gift of sincere respon- 
siveness was her recognition that her own generation 
must yield place to the next. She never sought 
through sympathy to gain dominance. In her com- 
ments touching militant propaganda in the diary, 
February 12, 1889, she shows herself as having attained 
that highest degree of self-discipline and of foresight, 
when the old can answer hospitably to the knock on 
the door of the coming generation. She prophesied 
and, in anticipation, welcomed the militant suffrage 

Without further intrusion on our part, we now leave 
to Elizabeth Cady Stanton the revelation in her own 
words of the intimate story of her life. 

Theodore Stanton. 
Harriot Stanton Blatch. 

Volume I 



Chapter I : Childhood 

r~^T *^T ^rlTH several generations of vigorous, enter- 
\ y\ / prising ancestors behind me, I commenced 
W T the struggle of life under favorable 
circumstances on the twelfth day of November, 1 815, 
the same year that my father, Daniel Cady, 1 a dis- 
tinguished lawyer and judge in the state of New 
York, was elected to Congress. Perhaps the excitement 
of a political campaign, in which my mother took the 
deepest interest, may have had an influence on my 
life and given me the strong desire that I have always 

l^/elt to participate in the rights and duties of government. 
My father was a man of firm character and unim- 
peachable integrity, and yet sensitive and modest to a 
painful degree. There were but two places in which 
he felt at ease — in the courthouse and at his own 
fireside. Though gentle and tender, he had such a 
dignified repose and reserve of manner that, as children, 
we regarded him with fear rather than affection. 

My mother, Margaret Livingston, 2 a tall, queenly 
looking woman, was courageous, self-reliant, and at her 
ease under all circumstances and in all places. She 

^orn 1773; died 1859. 2 Born 1785; died 1871 

2 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

was the daughter of Colonel James Livingston, 1 who 
took an active part in the war of the Revolution. 

Colonel Livingston was stationed at West Point 
when Arnold made the attempt to betray that strong- 
hold into the hands of the enemy. In the absence of 
General Washington and his superior officer my grand- 
father took the responsibility of firing into the Vulture, 2 
a suspicious-looking British vessel that lay at anchor 
near the opposite bank of the Hudson River. It was 
a fatal shot for Andre, the British spy, with whom 
Arnold was then consummating his treason. Hit 
between wind and water, the vessel spread her sails 
and hastened down the river, leaving Andre, with his 
papers, to be captured, while Arnold made his escape 
through the lines before his treason was suspected. 
On General Washington's return to West Point he 
sent for my grandfather and reprimanded him for 
acting in so important a matter without orders, thereby 
making himself liable to court-martial; but, after fully 
impressing the young officer with the danger of such 

1 Born 1747; died 1832. Was a member of the Legislature from 1784 to 
1791. Served under his kinsman, General Montgomery, in Canada; 
later under Washington, his regiment being assigned to garrison Stony 
and Verplanks Points. 

2 The value of the shot at the Vulture was better calculated by the 
young officer than by Major John Lamb, as is shown in this letter: 

"West Point, 20th September, 1780. 

"Sir, — I have sent you the ammunition you requested, but at the same 
time I wish there may not be a wanton waste of it, as we have very little 
to spare. Firing at a ship with a four pounder is in my opinion a waste 
of powder, as the damage she will sustain is not equal to the expense. 
Whenever applications are made for ammunition they must be made 
through the commanding officer of the artillery at the port where it is 

"I am, Sir, yours &c, &c, John Lamb." 

Childhood 3 

self-sufficiency on ordinary occasions, he admitted 
that a most fortunate shot had been sent into the 

My mother had the military idea of government, 
but her children, like their grandfather, were disposed 
to assume the responsibility of their own actions; 
thus the ancestral traits in mother and children modi- 
fied, in a measure, the dangerous tendencies in each. 

Our parents were as kind and considerate as the 
Puritan ideas of those days permitted, but fear, rather 
than love, of God and parents alike, predominated. 
Add to this our timidity in our intercourse with servants 
and teachers, our dread of the ever-present devil, and 
the reader will see that, under such conditions, nothing 
but strong self-will and a good share of hope and 
mirthfulness could have saved an ordinary child from 
becoming a mere nullity. 

The first event engraved on my memory was the 
birth of a sister when I was four years old. It was a 
cold morning in January when the brawny Scotch 
nurse carried me to see the little stranger, whose 
advent was a matter of intense interest to me for many 
weeks after. The large, pleasant room with the white 
curtains and bright wood fire on the hearth, where 
panada, catnip, and all kinds of little messes which we 
were allowed to taste were kept warm, was the center 
of attraction for the older children. I heard so many 
friends remark, "What a pity it is she's a girl!"' that 
I felt a kind of compassion for the little baby. 

To form some idea of my surroundings at this time, 
imagine a two-story white, frame house with a hall 
through the middle, rooms on either side, and a large 

4 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

back building with grounds on the side and rear, 
which joined the garden of our good Presbyterian 
minister, the Rev. Simon Hosack, of whom I shall have 
more to say in another chapter. Our favorite resorts 
in the house were the garret and cellar. In the former 
were spinning wheels, a number of small white cotton 
bags filled with bundles, marked in ink, "silk," "cot- 
ton," "flannel," "calico," etc., as well as ancient 
masculine and feminine costumes. Here we would 
play ball with the bags, whirl the old spinning wheels, 
dress up in our ancestors' clothes, and take a bird's-eye 
view of the surrounding country from an enticing 
scuttle hole. This w T as forbidden ground, but, never- 
theless, we often went there on the sly, which only 
made the little escapades more enjoyable. 

The cellar of our house was filled, in winter, with 
barrels of apples, vegetables, salt meats, cider, butter, 
pounding-barrels, washtubs, etc., offering admirable 
nooks for playing hide and seek. Two tallow candles 
threw a faint light over the scene on certain occasions. 
This cellar was on a level with a large kitchen where 
we played blind-man's buff" and other games when the 
day's work was done. These two rooms are the center 
of many of the merriest memories of my childhood days. 

I can recall three colored men, Abraham, Peter, and 
Jacob, who acted as menservants in our youth. In 
turn they would sometimes play on the banjo for us to 
dance, taking real enjoyment in our games. Our 
nurses, Lockey Danford, Polly Bell, Mary Dunn, and 
Cornelia Nickeloy — peace to their ashes — were the 
only shadows on the gayety of these winter evenings, 
for their chief delight was to hurry us off to bed that 

Childhood 5 

they might receive their beaux or make short calls in 
the neighborhood. My memory of them is mingled 
with no sentiment of gratitude or affection. In express- 
ing their opinion of us in after years they said we were 
a very "troublesome, obstinate, disobedient set of chil- 
dren/' I have no doubt we were in constant rebellion 
against their petty tyranny. Abraham, Peter, and 
Jacob viewed us in a different light, and I have the 
most pleasant recollections of their kind services. 

In the winter, outside the house, we had the snow with 
which to build statues and make forts, and huge piles of 
wood covered with ice, which we called the Alps, so 
difficult were they of ascent and descent. There we 
would climb up and down by the hour if not interrupted. 
It always seemed to me that in the height of our en- 
thusiasm we were invariably summoned to some dis- 
agreeable duty, which would appear to show that thus 
early I keenly enjoyed outdoor life. Johnstown was 
more famous in the thirties than now, for then, though 
small, it was an intellectual center. Before my birth 
it was the seat of Sir William Johnson, the famous 
English negotiator with the Indians. During my 
girlhood the old courthouse was an arena for the con- 
tests of Kent, Tompkins, Spencer, who were among the 
chief lawyers of their time. 

Harold Frederic's novel, In the Valley, contains 
many descriptions of this region that are true to 
nature, as I remembered the Mohawk Valley, for I 
first knew it not so many years after the scenes which 
he lays there. Before I was old enough to take in 
the glory of the scenery and its historic associations, 
Johnstown was to me a gloomy-looking town. The 

6 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

streets were paved with large cobblestones, over which 
the farmers' wagons rattled from morning till night, 
while the sidewalks were set with very small cobble- 
stones, so that free and comfortable walking was out 
of the question. The streets were lined with solemn 
poplar trees, from which small yellow worms were 
continually dangling down. Next to the Prince of 
Darkness I feared these worms. They were harm- 
less, but the sight of one made me tremble. So many 
people shared in this feeling that the poplars were 
all cut down and elms planted in their stead. The 
Johnstown Academy and churches were large square 
buildings, painted white, surrounded by these same 
somber poplars, each edifice having a doleful bell 
which seemed to be ever tolling for school, funerals, 
church, or prayer meetings. Next to the worms, 
those clanging bells filled me with the utmost dread; 
they seemed like so many warnings of an eternal 
future. Visions of the inferno were strongly impressed 
on my childish imagination. It was thought, at that 
time, that firm faith in hell and the devil was the 
greatest help to virtue. 

Perhaps I may be pardoned a word devoted to my 
appearance in those days. I have been told that I 
was a plump little girl, with very fair skin, rosy cheeks, 
good features, dark brown hair, and laughing blue 
eyes. A student in my father's office, the late Henry 
Bayard of Delaware (an uncle of our recent Ambas- 
sador to the Court of St. James's, Thomas F. Bayard), 
told me one day, after conning my features carefully, 
that I had one defect which he could remedy. "Your 
eyebrows should be darker and heavier," said he, 

Childhood 7 

"and if you will let me shave them once or twice, you 
will be much improved/' I consented, and, slight 
as my eyebrows were, they seemed to have had some 
expression, for the loss of them had a most singular 
effect on my appearance. Everybody, including even 
the operator, laughed at my odd-looking face, and I 
was in the depths of humiliation during the period 
while my eyebrows were growing out again. It is 
scarcely necessary for me to add that I never allowed 
the young man to repeat the experiment, although 
strongly urged to do so. 

I cannot recall how or when I conquered the alpha- 
bet, words in three letters, the multiplication table, 
the points of the compass, the chicken-pox, whooping 
cough, measles, and mumps. All these unhappy 
incidents of childhood left but little impression on 
my mind. I have, however, most pleasant memories 
of the good spinster, Maria Yost, who patiently taught 
three generations of children the rudiments of the 
English language, and introduced us to the pictures 
in Murray s Spelling Book, where Old Father Time, 
with his scythe, and the farmer stoning the boys in 
his apple trees, gave rise in my mind to many serious 
reflections. Miss Yost was plump, with fair hair, 
and had a merry twinkle in her eyes, and she took us 
by very easy stages through the old-fashioned school- 
books. The interesting Readers children now have 
were unknown. We did not reach the temple of 
knowledge by the flowery paths of ease in which our 
descendants walk. 

I still have a perfect vision of myself and sisters 
as we stood up in the classes, with our toes at the 

8 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

cracks in the floor, all dressed alike in bright red 
flannel, black alpaca aprons, and around the neck a 
starched ruffle that, through a lack of skill on the 
part of either the laundress or the nurse who sewed 
them in, proved a constant source of discomfort to us. 
I have since seen full-grown men, under slighter 
provocation than we endured, jerk off* a collar, tear 
it in two, and throw it to the winds, chased by the 
most soul-harrowing expletives. But we were sternly 
rebuked for complaining. If we ventured to introduce 
our little fingers between the delicate skin and the 
irritating linen, our hands were slapped and the ruffle 
readjusted a degree closer. Our Sunday dresses were 
relieved with a black sprig and white aprons. We 
had red cloaks, red hoods, red mittens, and red stock- 
ings. For one's self to be all in red six months of the 
year was bad enough, but to have this costume mul- 
tiplied by three was indeed monotonous. I had such 
an aversion to that color that I used to rebel regularly 
at the beginning of each season when new dresses 
were purchased, until we finally passed into an exqui- 
site shade of blue. No words could do justice to my 
dislike of those red dresses. My grandfather's detes- 
tation of the British redcoats must have descended 
to me. 

I am told that I was pensively looking out of the 
nursery window one day when Mary Dunn, the Scotch 
nurse, who was something of a philosopher, and a 
stern Presbyterian, said: "Child, what are you think- 
ing about; are you planning some new form of mis- 
chief?" "No, Mary," I replied, "I was wondering 
why it was that everything we like to do is a sin, 






Childhood 9 

and that everything we dislike is commanded by 
God or some one on earth. I am so tired of that 
everlasting no! no! no! At school, at home, every- 
where it is 'no'! Even at church all the command- 
ments begin 'Thou shalt not.'* I suppose God will 
say 'no' to all we like in the next world, just as you 
do here/' Mary was dreadfully shocked at my dis- 
satisfaction with the things of time and prospective 
eternity, and exhorted me to cultivate the virtues of 
obedience and humility. 

I well remember the despair I felt in those years 
as I took in the whole situation, over the constant 
cribbing and crippling of a child's life. I suppose I 
found fit language in which to express my thoughts, 
for Mary Dunn told me, years after, how our dis- 
cussion roused my sister Margaret, who was an atten- 
tive listener. I must have set forth our wrongs in 
clear, unmistakable terms, for Margaret exclaimed 
one day, "I'll tell you what to do. Hereafter let us 
act as we choose, without asking." "Then," said I, 
"we shall be punished." "Suppose we are," said 
she, "we shall have had our fun at any rate, and that 
is better than to mind the everlasting 'no' and not 
have any fun at all." Her logic seemed unanswer- 
able, so together we gradually acted on her sugges- 
tions. Having less imagination than I, she took a 
common-sense view of life and suffered nothing from 
anticipation of troubles, while my sorrows were inten- 
sified fourfold by innumerable apprehensions of possible 

Our nursery, a large room over a back building, 
had three barred windows reaching nearly to the 

io Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

floor. Two of these opened on a gently slanting roof 
over a veranda. In our night robes, on warm summer 
evenings we could, by dint of skillful twisting and 
compressing, get out between the bars, and there, 
snugly braced against the house, we would sit and 
enjoy the moon and stars and what sounds might 
reach us from the streets, while the nurse, gossiping 
at the back door, imagined we were safely asleep. 

I have a confused memory of being often under 
punishment for what in those days were called " tan- 
trums." I suppose they were really justifiable acts 
of rebellion against the tyranny of those in authority. 
I have often listened since, with real satisfaction, to 
what some of our friends had to say of the high-handed 
manner in which sister Margaret and I defied all the 
transient orders and strict rules laid down for our 
guidance. If we had observed them we might as well 
have been embalmed as mummies, for all the pleasure 
and freedom we should have had in our childhood. 
As very little was then done for the amusement of 
children, happy were those who conscientiously took 
the liberty of amusing themselves. 

One charming feature of our village was a stream 
of water, called the Cayadutta, which ran through 
the north end, in which it was our delight to walk 
on the broad slate stones when the water was low, 
in order to pick up pretty pebbles. These joys were 
also forbidden, though indulged in as opportunity 
afforded, especially as sister Margaret's philosophy 
was found to work successfully and we had finally 
risen above our infantile fear of punishment. 

Much of my freedom at this time was due to this 

Childhood n 

sister, who afterward became the wife of Colonel 
Duncan McMartin of Iowa. I can see her now, hat 
in hand, her long curls flying in the wind, her nose 
slightly retrousse, her large dark eyes flashing with 
glee, and her small straight mouth so expressive of 
determination. Though two years my junior, she 
was larger and stronger than I, and more fearless and 
self-reliant. She was always ready to start when 
any pleasure offered, and if I hesitated she would 
give me a jerk and say emphatically, "Oh, come 
along !" and away we went. 

About this time we entered the Johnstown Academy, 
where we made the acquaintance of the daughters of 
the hotel keeper and the county sheriff*. They were 
a few years my senior, but, as I was ahead of them in 
all my studies, the difference of age was somewhat 
equalized, and we became fast friends. This acquaint- 
ance opened to us two new sources of enjoyment — 
the freedom of the hotel during "court week"" (a 
great event in village life) and the exploration of the 
county jail. Our Scotch nurse had told us so many 
thrilling tales of castles, prisons, and dungeons in the 
Old World that, to see the great keys and iron doors, 
the handcuffs and chains, and the prisoners in their 
cells seemed like a veritable visit to Mary's native 
land. We made frequent visits to the jail, and became 
deeply concerned about the fate of the prisoners, who 
were pleased with our expressions of sympathy and 
our gifts of cake and candy. In time we became 
interested in the trials and sentences of prisoners, 
and would go to the courthouse and listen to the 

proceedings. Sometimes we would slip into the 
i— 2 

12 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

hotel where the judge and lawyers dined, and help 
our little friend wait on table. The rushing of servants 
to and fro, the calling of guests, the scolding of ser- 
vants in the kitchen, the banging of doors, the general 
hubbub, the noise and clatter, were all idealized by 
me into one of those royal festivals Mary so often 
described. To be allowed to carry plates of bread 
and butter, pie and cheese, I counted a high privilege. 
But more especially I enjoyed listening to the con- 
versations in regard to the probable fate of our friends 
the prisoners in the jail. On one occasion I pro- 
jected a few remarks into a conversation between two 
lawyers, when one of them turned abruptly to me and 
said, " Child, you'd better attend to your business; 
bring me a glass of water." I replied indignantly, 
"I am not a servant; I am here for fun." 

In all these escapades we were followed by Peter, 
black as coal and six feet in height. It seems to me 
now that his chief business was to discover our where- 
abouts, get us home to dinner, and take us back to 
school. Fortunately he was overflowing with curi- 
osity and not averse to lingering awhile where any- 
thing of interest was to be seen or heard, and, as we 
were deemed perfectly safe under his care, no questions 
were asked when we got to the house, if we had been 
with him. Through his diplomacy we escaped much 
disagreeable surveillance. Peter was very fond of 
attending court. All the lawyers knew him, and 
wherever Peter went the three little girls in his charge 
went too. Thus, with constant visits to the jail, 
courthouse, and my father's office, I gleaned some idea 
of the danger of violating the law. 

Childhood 13 

The great events of the year were the Christmas 
holidays, the Fourth of July, and "General Training," 
as the review of the county militia was then called. 
The winter gala days are associated in my memory 
with hanging up stockings, and with turkeys, mince 
pies, sweet cider, and sleigh rides by moonlight. My 
earliest recollections of those happy days, when schools 
were closed, books laid aside, and unusual liberties 
allowed, center in that large cellar kitchen to which 
I have already referred. There we spent many 
winter evenings in uninterrupted enjoyment. A large 
fireplace with huge logs shed warmth and cheerfulness 
around. In one corner sat Peter sawing his fiddle, 
while our youthful neighbors danced with us and 
played blindman's bufF almost every evening during 
the vacation. The most interesting character in this 
game was the black boy called Jacob, Peters lieutenant, 
who made things lively for us by always keeping one 
eye open — a wise precaution to guard himself from 
danger, and to keep us on the jump. Hickory nuts, 
sweet cider, and olie-koeks (a Dutch name for a fried 
cake with raisins inside) were our refreshments when 
there came a lull in the fun. 

As St. Nicholas was supposed to come down the 
chimney, our stockings were pinned on a broomstick, 
laid across two chairs in front of the fireplace. We 
retired on Christmas Eve with the most pleasing 
anticipations of what would be in our stockings next 
morning. The thermometer in that latitude was 
often twenty degrees below zero, yet, bright and early 
we would run downstairs in our bare feet over the cold 
floors to carry stockings and broom to the nursery. 

14 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The gorgeous presents that St. Nicholas now dis- 
tributes show that he, too, has been growing up with 
the country. The boys and girls of to-day will laugh 
when they hear of the contents of our stockings in 
1823. There was a little paper of candy, one of 
raisins, another of nuts, a red apple, an olie-koek, 
and a bright silver quarter of a dollar in the toe. If 
a child had been guilty of any erratic performance 
during the year, which was often my case, a long 
stick would protrude from the stocking; if partic- 
ularly good, an illustrated catechism or the New 
Testament would appear, showing that the St. Nicholas 
of that time held decided views on discipline and 

During the day we would take a drive over the 
snow-clad hills and valleys in a long red lumber sleigh. 
All the children it could hold made the forest echo 
with their songs and laughter. The sleigh bells, 
and Peter's fine tenor voice, added to the chorus, 
seemed to chant, as we passed, "Merry Christmas!" 
to the farmers' children and to all we met on the 

Returning home, we were allowed, as a great Christ- 
mas treat, to watch all the preparations for dinner. 
Attired in a white apron and turban, Peter assisted 
the cook. Holding in his hand a tin candlestick the 
size of a dinner plate, containing a lighted tallow 
candle, with a stately step he marched into the spa- 
cious cellar, with Jacob and three little girls dressed 
in red flannel at his heels. As the farmers paid the 
interest on their mortgages in barrels of pork, head- 
cheese, poultry, eggs, and cider, the cellars were well 

Childhood 15 

crowded for the winter, making the master of an 
establishment quite indifferent to all questions of 
finance. Laden with vegetables, butter, eggs, and 
a huge turkey, Peter and his followers returned to 
the kitchen. There, seated on a big ironing table, 
we watched the dressing and roasting of the bird in 
a tin oven in front of the fire. Jacob peeled the 
vegetables, we all sang, and Peter told us marvelous 

Peter was a devout Episcopalian, and took great 
pleasure in helping the young people decorate the old 
stone church, built by Sir William Johnson, and 
which stood just opposite our house. He would take 
us with him and show us how to make evergreen 
wreaths. Like Mary's lamb, where'er he went we 
were sure to go. His love for us was unbounded, and 
fully returned. He was the only being, visible or 
invisible, of whom we had no fear. We would go to 
divine service with Peter Christmas morning and sit 
with him by the door, in what was called "the negro 
pew." He was the only colored member of the church, 
and, after all the other communicants had taken the 
sacrament, he went to the altar. Dressed in a new 
suit of blue with gilt buttons, he looked like a prince, 
as, with head erect, he walked up the aisle, the grand- 
est specimen of manhood in the whole congregation; 
and yet so strong was prejudice against color in 1823 
that no one would kneel beside him. On leaving us 
on one of these occasions, no sooner had he started 
than the youngest of us, Kate, slowly followed after 
him and seated herself close on the altar steps beside 
him. As he came back, holding the child by the 

16 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

hand, what a lesson it must have been to that preju- 
diced congregation! 

Our next great fete was on the anniversary of the 
birthday of our Republic. The festivities were numer- 
ous and protracted, beginning then, as now, at mid- 
night with bonfires and cannon; while the day was 
ushered in with the ringing of bells and tremendous 
cannonading. Later a procession of soldiers and 
citizens marched through the town, an oration was 
delivered, the Declaration of Independence read, 
and a great dinner given in the open air under the 
trees in the grounds of the old courthouse. Each 
toast was announced with the booming of cannon. 
On these occasions Peter was in his element, and 
showed us whatever he considered worth seeing; 
but I cannot say that I enjoyed very much either 
"General Training" or the Fourth of July, for, in 
addition to my fear of cannon and torpedoes, my 
sympathies were deeply touched by the sadness of 
our cook, whose drunken father always cut antics 
in the streets on gala days, the central figure in all 
the sports of the boys, much to the mortification of 
his worthy daughter. She wept bitterly over her 
father's public exhibition of himself, and told me in 
what a condition he would come home to his family 
at night. I would gladly have stayed in with her 
all day, but the fear of being called a coward com- 
pelled me to go through those trying ordeals. As 
my nerves were all on the surface, no words can 
describe what I suffered with those explosions, great 
and small, and my fears lest King George and his 
minions should reappear among us. I thought that 

Childhood 17 

if he had done all the dreadful things stated in the 
Declaration of 9 j6, he might come again, burn our 
houses, and drive us all into the street. Sir William 
Johnson's mansion of solid masonry, gloomy and 
threatening, still stood in our neighborhood. I had 
seen the marks of the Indian's tomahawk on the 
balustrades, and heard of the bloody deeds there 
enacted. For all the calamities of the nation I believed 
King George responsible. At home and at school 
we were educated to hate the English. When we 
remember that every Fourth of July the Declaration 
was read with emphasis, and the orator of the day 
rounded all his glowing periods with denunciations 
of the mother country, we need not wonder that our 
patriotism in those early days was measured by our 
dislike of Great Britain. 

In September occurred the review of the county 
militia, popularly called "Training Day." Then every- 
body went to the fair grounds to see the troops and 
buy what the farmers had brought in their wagons. 
There was a peculiar kind of gingerbread and molasses 
candy to which we were treated on those occasions, 
associated in my mind to this day with military reviews 
and standing armies. 

An object of interest to me was a boy without arms 
born in our village and about my age. He was exhib- 
ited afterwards by Barnum, and made quite a fortune 
for his widowed mother. He performed many of 
life's duties with his feet and toes. He could write, 
cipher, and draw pictures and feed himself with ease 
and skill. He composed songs and music too, which 
he and his mother sang sweetly together. All this 

1 8 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

was very fascinating to me, and I called on him fre- 
quently in spite of being punished by my nurse for 
my "vulgar tastes." 

Other pleasures were roaming in the forests and 
sailing on the mill pond. One day, when there were 
no boys at hand and several girls were impatiently 
waiting for a sail on a raft, my sister and I volunteered 
to man the expedition. We always acted on the 
assumption that what we had seen done, we could do. 
Accordingly, we all jumped on the raft, loosened it 
from its moorings, and away we went with the cur- 
rent. Navigation on that mill pond was performed 
with long poles, but, unfortunately, we could not lift 
the heavy poles, and we soon saw we were drifting 
toward the dam. But we had the presence of mind 
to sit down and hold fast to the raft. Fortunately, 
we went over right side up and gracefully glided down 
the stream, until rescued by the ever-watchful Peter. 
I did not hear the last of that voyage for a long time. 
I was called the captain of the expedition, and one of 
the boys wrote a composition, which he read in school, 
describing the adventure and emphasizing the ignor- 
ance of the laws of navigation shown by the officer 
in command. I shed tears many times over that 

Notwithstanding his gloomy environment, some of 
the pleasantest memories of my childhood center 
around our beloved pastor, the Rev. Simon Hosack. 
He was born and educated in Scotland, came to America 
at an early day, and had charge of the Presbyterian 
Church in Johnstown for nearly half a century. The 
relation of pastor and people in former times was far 

Childhood 19 

more tender and enduring than in later years — they 
often spending a lifetime together. He who married 
the happy bride and groom, baptized their children, 
and made the last tender prayer over the graves of 
their loved ones, would naturally be the repository of 
the family joys and sorrows. As our gardens joined, 
I was a frequent visitor at the parsonage. The being 
I loved best on earth at that time was the gray-haired, 
heavy-browed, high-cheeked parson, and not a day 
passed without my seeing him. I loved as a child 
always loves one who is kind and tender, and who is 
never weary in answering satisfactorily endless ques- 
tions. Looking back, I see now that he too loved 
me, a ray of bright sunshine in his darkened life. I 
know now that his domestic experiences were wholly 
unsatisfactory. In an evil moment he had married 
for money, which, because of litigation and intriguing 
relations, he never received. But he did get a shriveled 
little wife, a nonentity, with a blind sister and a family 
of slaves who ate them out of house and home. A 
stranger in a strange land, with no ties of kindred, 
my child love and worship found a large place in his 
desolate heart. I was his chosen companion in going 
his parish rounds. With his old white mare and 
ancient gig, we jogged along day after day, driving 
miles together, as his congregation was chiefly scat- 
tered in the country districts around our village. 
When we would stop at some farmhouse, he would 
leave me outside, free to wander about the garden, with 
its vegetables and its bleeding-hearts and poppies. 
I see now that he did not want my young ears to hear 
the sorrows of the family. When he came out again 

20 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

he found me always full of talk over what I had dis- 
covered and eager to ply him with questions, which 
brushed away the sadness which he had left behind 
the farmhouse door. 

He called me his "fair charioteer, ,, as I generally 
drove the mild-mannered steed while he read the 
foreign reviews, and when I asked him what "chari- 
oteer" meant, he gave me a stirring word-picture of 
the old Roman races in the circus, whose imprint is 
still in my mind. This habit of his of using expres- 
sions beyond my years and then explaining them to 
me was one of the earliest influences on my intel- 
lectual development, and some of the rare phrases 
with which he besprinkled his conversation have 
always abided with me and did not a little to awaken 
in my young and receptive brain a taste for rhetoric. 
So if to-day I use with some ease our English tongue, 
much of this is due to dear old Simon Hosack. 

He was a man of moods, and I soon learned when 
to talk with him and when to keep silent, when to 
stay with him and when to go away. No thermometer 
is more sensitive to atmospheric changes than I was 
to his changing feelings. Here again was awakened 
in me a characteristic which has always been with me 
— a sensitiveness and a responsiveness to my sur- 
roundings — which, though it may at times have caused 
pain and anxiety, has saved me from many a mistake, 
and opened to me many a view that would otherwise 
have been shut against me. 

But when the dear old divine did talk as we drove 
about in the summer sunshine, in the wild, leafy 
woods, my happiness was complete. Descriptions 

Childhood 21 

of his own childhood in Scotland, of his voyage across 
the ocean in a white-sailed clipper — he told me what 
a clipper was when he saw that I thought it was some 
kind of a knife — of his wanderings through western 
New York, then the frontier, before he pitched his 
tent in the home of Sir William Johnson — all this 
held my attention as if I were riveted to the gig; and 
then when he would recite passages of his favorite 
Scottish poets — Burns in the lowland dialect, and 
Scott in that of the Highland — I was wafted away 
into unknown regions. Years afterwards when I 
visited Scotland, the preparation for the visit I found 
more than once went back to those childhood con- 
versations with Simon Hosack. 

Chapter II: School Days 

WHEN I was eleven years old two events 
occurred which changed the current of 
my life. My only brother, 1 who had 
just graduated from Union College, came home to 
die. A young man of great talent and promise, he 
was the pride of my father's heart. We early felt 
that his son filled a larger place in our father's affec- 
tions and future plans than the five daughters together. 
Well do I remember how tenderly he watched my 
brother in his last illness, the sighs and tears he gave 
vent to as he slowly walked up and down the hall, 
and, when the last sad moment came, and we were all 
assembled to say farewell in the silent chamber of 
death, how broken were his utterances as he knelt 
and prayed for comfort and support. I still recall, 
too, going into the large darkened parlor to see my 
brother, and finding the casket, mirrors, and pictures 
all draped in white, and my father seated by his side, 
pale, immovable. As he took no notice of me, after 
standing a long while, I climbed upon his knee, when 
he mechanically put his arm about me and, with my 
head resting against his beating heart, we both sat 
in silence, he thinking of the wreck of all his hopes in 
the loss of a dear son, and I wondering what could be 

1 Eleazer L. Cady, who took the degree of A.B. at Union College in 1826, 
and died the same year from the effects of an accident. 

School Days 23 

said or done to fill the void in his breast. At length 
he heaved a deep sigh and said: " Oh, my daughter, 
would that you were a boy!" 

Then and there I resolved that I would not give 
so much time as heretofore to play, but would study 
and strive to be at the head of all my classes and thus 
delight my father's heart. All that day and far into 
the night I pondered the problem of boyhood. I 
thought that the chief thing to be done in order to 
equal boys was to be learned and courageous. So I 
decided to study Greek and learn to manage a horse. 
Having formed this conclusion I fell asleep. My 
resolutions, unlike many such made at night, did not 
vanish with the coming dawn. I arose early and 
hastened to put them into execution. They were 
resolutions never to be forgotten — destined to mold 
my character anew. As soon as I was dressed I 
hastened to our good pastor, Simon Hosack, who 
was always early at work in his garden. 

" Doctor," said I, "which do you like best, boys or 

"Why, girls, to be sure; I would not give you for 
all the boys in Christendom." 

"My father," I replied, "prefers boys; he wishes 
I was one, and I intend to be as near like one as pos- 
sible. I am going to ride on horseback and study 
Greek. Will you give me a Greek lesson now? I 
want to begin at once." 

"Yes, child," said he, throwing down his hoe, 
"come into my library and we will begin without 

He entered fully into the feeling of suffering and 

24 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

sorrow which took possession of me when I discovered 
that a girl weighed less in the scale of being than a 
boy, and he praised my determination to prove the 
contrary. The old grammar which he had studied 
in the University of Glasgow was soon in my hands, 
and the Greek article was learned before breakfast. 

Then came the sad pageantry of death; the weeping 
of friends, the dark rooms, the ghostly stillness, the 
exhortation to the living to prepare for death, the 
solemn prayer, the mournful chant, the funeral cor- 
tege, the solemn, tolling bell, the burial. How I 
suffered during those sad days! What strange unde- 
fined fears of the unknown took possession of me! 
For months afterward, at the twilight hour, I went 
with my father to the new-made grave. Near it 
stood two tall poplar trees, against one of which I 
leaned, while my father threw himself on the grave 
with outstretched arms, as if to embrace his child. 
At last the frosts and storms of November came and 
threw a chilling barrier between the living and the 
dead, and we went there no more. 

During all this time I kept up my lessons at the 
parsonage, and made rapid progress. I surprised even 
my teacher, who thought me capable of doing any- 
thing. I learned to drive, and to leap a fence and 
ditch on horseback. I taxed every power, hoping 
some day to hear my father say, "Well, a girl is as 
good as a boy, after all." But he never said it. When 
the doctor came over to spend the evening with us 
I would whisper in his ear, "Tell my father how fast 
I get on," and he would tell him, and was lavish in 
his praises. But my father only paced the room, 

School Days 25 

sighed, and showed that he wished I were a boy; 
and I, not knowing why he felt thus, would hide my 
tears of vexation on the doctor's shoulder. 

Soon after this I began to study Latin, Greek, 
and mathematics with a class of boys in the village 
academy, many of whom were much older than I. 
For three years one boy kept his place at the head of 
the class, and I always stood next. Two prizes were 
offered in Greek. I strove for one, and took the 
second. How well I remember my joy in receiving 
that prize. There was no sentiment of ambition, 
rivalry, or triumph over my companions, nor feeling 
of satisfaction in receiving this honor in the presence 
of those assembled on the day of the exhibition. One 
thought alone filled my mind. "Now," said I, "my 
father will be satisfied with me." So, as soon as we 
were dismissed, I ran down the hill, rushed breathless 
into his office, laid the Greek Testament, which was 
my prize, on his table and exclaimed: "There, I got 
it!" He took up the book, asked me some questions 
about the class, the teachers, the spectators, and, 
evidently pleased, handed it back to me. Then, 
while I stood looking and waiting for him to say 
something which would show that he recognized the 
equality of the daughter with the son, he kissed me 
on the forehead and exclaimed, with a sigh, "Ah, 
you should have been a boy!" 

My joy was turned to ashes I ran to my good 
doctor. He chased my bitter tears away, and soothed 
me with unbounded praise and visions of future suc- 
cess. He was then confined to the house with his last 
illness. He asked me that day if I would like to 

26 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

have, when he was gone, the old lexicon, Testament, 
and grammar that we had so often thumbed together. 
"Yes, but I would rather have you stay," I urged, 
"for what can I do when you are gone?" "Oh," 
said he tenderly, "I shall not be gone; my spirit will 
still be with you, watching you in all life's struggles." 
Noble, generous friend! He had but little on earth 
to bequeath to anyone, but when the last scene in 
his life was ended, and his will was opened, sure enough 
there was a clause saying: "My Greek lexicon, Testa- 
ment and grammar, and four volumes of Scott 9 s Com- 
mentaries, I will to Elizabeth Cady." I never look 
at these books without a feeling of thankfulness that 
in childhood I was blessed with such a friend and 

I can truly say that all the cares and anxieties, the 
trials and disappointments of my whole life, are 
light, when balanced with my sufferings in childhood 
and youth from the theological dogmas which I sin- 
cerely believed, and the gloom connected with every- 
thing associated with the name of religion, the church, 
the graveyard, and the solemn, tolling bell. Every- 
thing connected with death was then rendered inex- 
pressibly dolorous. The body, covered with a black 
pall, was borne on the shoulders of men; the mourners 
were in crape and walked with bowed heads, while 
the neighbors who had tears to shed did so copiously, 
and summoned up their saddest facial expressions. 
At the grave came the sober warnings to the living, 
and sometimes frightful prophesies as to the state 
of the dead. All this pageantry of woe and visions 
of the unknown land beyond the tomb, often haunted 

School Days 27 

my midnight dreams and shadowed the sunshine of 
my days. The church, which was bare, with no 
furnace to warm us, no organ to gladden our hearts, 
no choir to lead our songs of praise in harmony, was 
sadly lacking in all attractions for the youthful mind. 
The preacher, even when my gentle friend Simon 
Hosack, shut up in an octagonal box high above our 
heads, gave us sermons over an hour long, and the 
chorister, in a similar box below him, intoned line 
after line of David's Psalms, while, like a flock of 
sheep at the heels of their shepherd, the congregation, 
without regard to time or tune, straggled after their 

Years later, the introduction of stoves, a violoncello, 
Wesley's hymns, and a choir, split the church in twain. 
These old Scotch Presbyterians were opposed to all 
innovations. So, when the thermometer was twenty 
degrees below zero on the Johnstown Hills, four hun- 
dred feet above the Mohawk Valley, we trudged along 
through the snow, foot-stoves in hand, to the cold 
hospitalities of the Lord's House, there to be chilled 
to the very core by listening to sermons on predesti- 
nation, justification by faith, and eternal damnation. 

An important event in our family circle was the 

marriage of my eldest sister, Tryphena, to Edward 

Bayard of Wilmington, Delaware. He was the son 

of James A. Bayard, Senator from Delaware, and one 

of the United States Commissioners that negotiated 

the Treaty of Ghent. Two of his brothers were United 

States Senators, and his nephew, Thomas Bayard, 

was later Senator, Secretary of State, and Ambassador 

to England. My brother-in-law, Edward, was a 

28 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

lawyer for eighteen years, but, through defending a 
homeopathic physician who had been indicted under 
an old statute at the instigation of the medical faculty, 
he was led to look into that school of medicine and 
became a homeopathic physician, and continued to 
be such for nearly fifty years. He was a devout 
Christian of the Swedenborgian school, whose faith 
was shown in every act of his life. His tender treat- 
ment of his poorest patients endeared him to all who 
knew his boundless charity and faithful service. He 
was remarkable for his uniform kindness and self- 
control. None could recall a harsh word or act towards 
brother or sister in these long and intimate relations. 
A sweet charity and divine patience pervaded alike 
his social and professional life. He was a graduate 
of Union College, a classmate of my brother, and 
frequently visited at my father's house. At the end 
of his college course he came with his brother Henry 
to study law in Johnstown. A quiet, retired little 
village was thought to be a good place in which to 
sequester young men bent on completing their educa- 
tion, as they were there safe from the temptations 
and distracting influences of large cities. In addi- 
tion to this consideration, my father's reputation 
made his office a desirable resort for students, who, 
furthermore, not only improved their opportunities 
by reading Blackstone, Kent, and Story, but also by 
making love to the judge's daughters. We thus had 
the advantage of many pleasant acquaintances from 
the leading families in the country, and in this way 
it was that four of the sisters eventually selected most 
worthy husbands. 


School Days 29 

Edward Bayard was a tall, fully developed man, 
remarkably fine-looking, with cultivated literary taste 
and a profound knowledge of human nature. Warm 
and affectionate, generous to a fault in giving and 
serving, he was soon a great favorite in the family, 
and gradually filled the void made in all our hearts 
by the loss of the brother and son. 

My father was so fully occupied with the duties 
of his profession, which often called him from home, 
and my mother so weary with the cares of a large 
family, having had ten children, though only five 
survived at this time, that they were quite willing to 
shift their burdens to younger shoulders. Our eldest 
sister and her husband, therefore, soon became our 
counselors and advisers. They selected our clothing, 
books, schools, acquaintances, and directed our read- 
ing and amusements. Thus the reins of domestic 
government, little by little, passed into their hands, 
and the family arrangements were in a manner 
greatly improved in favor of larger liberty for the 

The advent of Edward and Henry Bayard was an 
inestimable blessing to us. With them came an era 
of picnics, birthday parties, and endless amusements; 
the buying of pictures, books, musical instruments, 
and ponies, and frequent excursions with parties on 
horseback. Fresh from college, they made our lessons 
in Latin, Greek, and mathematics so easy that we 
studied with joy. Henry Bayard's chief pleasures 
were walking, riding, and playing all manner of games, 
from jack-straws to chess, with the three younger 
sisters, and we have often said that the three years 

30 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

he passed in Johnstown were the most delightful of 
our girlhood. 

Immediately after the death of my brother, a journey 
was planned to visit our grandmother Cady, who 
lived in Canaan, Columbia County, about twenty 
miles from Albany. My two younger sisters and 
myself had never been outside of our own county 
before, and the very thought of a journey roused our 
enthusiasm to the highest pitch. On a brigh day 
in September we started, packed in two carriages. 
We were wild with delight as we drove down the 
Mohawk Valley, with its beautiful river and its many 
bridges and ferryboats. When we reached Sche- 
nectady we stopped to dine at the old Given's Hotel, 
where we broke loose from all the moorings of pro- 
priety on beholding the paper on the dining-room 
wall, illustrating in brilliant colors the great events 
in sacred history. There were the Patriarchs, with 
flowing beards and in gorgeous attire; Abraham, 
offering up Isaac; Joseph, with his coat of many 
colors, thrown into a pit by his brethren; Noah's 
ark on an ocean of waters; Pharaoh and his host in 
the Red Sea; Rebecca at the well; and Moses in the 
bulrushes. All these distinguished personages were 
familiar to us, and to see them here for the first time 
in living colors, made silence and eating impossible. 
We dashed around the room, calling to each other: 
"Oh, Kate, look here!" "Oh, Madge, look there!" 
"See little Moses!" "See the angels on Jacob's 
ladder!" Our exclamations could not be kept within 
bounds. The guests were amused beyond descrip- 
tion, while my mother and elder sisters were equally 

School Days 31 

mortified; but Mr. Bayard, who appreciated our 
childish surprise and delight, smiled and said, "I'll 
take them around and show them the pictures, and 
then they will be able to dine," which we finally did. 

On our way to Albany we were forced to listen to 
no end of dissertations on manners, and severe criti- 
cisms on our behavior at the hotel, but we were too 
happy and astonished with all we saw to take a sub- 
jective view of ourselves. Even Peter in his new 
livery, who had not seen much more than we had, 
maintained a quiet dignity and conjured us "not to 
act as if we had just come out of the woods and had 
never seen anything before." However, there are 
conditions in the child soul in which repression is 
impossible, when the mind takes in nothing but its 
own enjoyment, and when even the sense of hearing 
is lost in that of sight. The whole party awoke to 
that fact at last. Children are not actors. We never 
had experienced anything like this journey, and how 
could we help being surprised and delighted ? 

When we drove into Albany, the first large city we 
had ever visited, we exclaimed, "Why, it's General 
Training, here!" We had acquired our ideas of 
crowds from our country militia reviews. Fortu- 
nately, there was no pictorial wall paper in the old 
City Hotel. * But the decree had gone forth that, 
on the remainder of the journey, our meals would be 
served in a private room, with Peter to wait on us. 
This seemed like going back to the nursery days, and 
was very humiliating. But eating, even there, was 
difficult, as we could hear the band from the old 
museum, and, as our windows opened on the street, 

32 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the continual panorama of people and carriages pass- 
ing by was quite as enticing as the Bible scenes in 
Schenectady. In the evening we walked around to 
see the city lighted, to look into the shop windows, 
and to visit the museum. The next morning we 
started for Canaan, our enthusiasm still unabated, 
though strong hopes were expressed that we would be 
toned down by the fatigues of the first day's journey. 

The large farm with its cattle, sheep, hens, ducks, 
turkeys, and geese; its creamery, looms, and spinning 
wheels; its fruits and vegetables; the drives among 
the hills; the blessed old grandmother, and the many 
aunts, uncles, and cousins to kiss — all this kept us 
still in a whirlpool of excitement. Our joy bubbled 
over of itself; it was beyond our control. After 
spending a delightful week at Canaan, we departed, 
with an addition to our party, much to Peter's disgust, 
of a bright, coal-black boy of fifteen summers. Peter 
kept grumbling that he had children enough to look 
after already, but, as the boy was handsome and 
intelligent, could read, write, play on the jew's-harp 
and banjo, sing, dance, and stand on his head, we 
were charmed with this new-found treasure, who 
proved later to be a great family blessing. We were 
less vivacious on the return trip. Whether this was 
due to Peter's untiring efforts to keep us within bounds, 
or whether the novelty of the journey was in a meas- 
ure gone, it is difficult to determine, but we evidently 
were not so buoyant, and were duly complimented on 
our good behavior. 

When we reached home and told our village com- 
panions what we had seen in our extensive travels 

School Days 33 

(just seventy miles from home), they were filled with 
wonder, and we became heroines in their estimation. 
After this we took frequent journeys to Saratoga, 
the Northern Lakes, Utica, and Peterboro, but were 
never again so entirely swept from our feet as with 
the biblical illustrations in the dining-room of the old 
Given's Hotel. 

As my father's office joined the house, I spent there 
much of my time, when out of school, listening to the 
clients stating their cases, talking with the students, 
and reading the laws in regard to woman. In our 
Scotch neighborhood many men still retained the old 
feudal ideas of women and property. Fathers, at 
their death, would will the bulk of their property to 
the eldest son, with the proviso that the mother was 
to have a home with him. Hence, it was not unusual 
for the mother, who had brought all the property 
into the family, to be made an unhappy dependent 
on the bounty of an uncongenial daughter-in-law 
and a dissipated son. The tears and complaints of 
the women who came to my father for legal advice 
touched my heart, and early drew my attention to the 
injustice and cruelty of the laws. As the practice 
of the law was my father's business, I could not exactly 
understand why he could not alleviate the sufferings 
of these women. So, in order to enlighten me, he 
would take down his books and show me the inex- 
orable statutes. The students, observing my interest, 
would amuse themselves by reading to me all the 
worst laws they could find, over which I would laugh 
and cry by turns. One Christmas morning I went 
into the office to show them my present of a new 

34 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

coral necklace and bracelet. They all admired the 
jewelry, and then began to tease me with hypothetical 
cases of future ownership. "Now," said Henry 
Bayard, "if in due time you should be my wife, those 
ornaments would be mine. I could take them and 
lock them up, and you could never wear them except 
with my permission. I could even exchange them 
for a cigar, and you could watch them evaporate in 

With this constant bantering from students, and 
the sad complaints of women clients, my mind was 
sorely perplexed. So when, from time to time, my 
attention was called to these odious laws, I would 
mark them with a pencil, and becoming more and 
more convinced of the necessity of taking some active 
measures against these unjust provisions, I resolved 
to seize the first opportunity, when alone in the office, 
to cut every one of them out of the books; supposing 
my father and his library were the beginning and the 
end of the law. However, this mutilation of his 
volumes was never accomplished, for dear old Flora 
Campbell, to whom I confided my plan for the ameliora- 
tion of her wrongs, warned my father of what I proposed 
to do. Without letting me know that he had dis- 
covered my secret, he explained to me one evening 
how laws were made, the large number of lawyers 
and libraries there were all over the state, and that 
if his library should burn up it would make no differ- 
ence in woman's condition. "When you are grown 
up, and able to prepare a speech," said he, "you must 
go down to Albany and talk to the legislators; tell 
them all you have seen in this office — the sufferings 

School Days 35 

of these Scotchwomen, robbed of their inheritance 
and left dependent on their unworthy sons, and, if 
you can persuade them to pass new laws, the old ones 
will be a dead letter." Thus was the future object 
of my life suggested and my duty plainly outlined by 
him who was most opposed to my public career when, 
in due time, it was entered upon. 

Until I was fifteen years old I was a faithful student 
in the Johnstown Academy. Though I was the only 
girl in the higher classes of mathematics and the 
classics, yet in our games all the girls and boys 
mingled freely together. In running races, sliding 
downhill, and snowballing, we made no distinction 
of sex. True, the boys would carry the schoolbooks 
and pull the sleighs uphill for their favorite girls, but 
equality was the general basis of our school relations. 
I dare say the boys did not make their snowballs 
quite so hard when pelting a girl, nor wash her face 
with the same vehemence as they did each other's, 
but there was no evidence of partiality. There was 
an unwritten law and public sentiment in that little 
academy world that enabled us to study and play 
together with the greatest freedom and harmony. 

From the academy the boys of my class went to 
Union College at Schenectady. When those with 
whom I had studied and contended for prizes for five 
years came to bid me good-by, and I learned of the 
barrier that prevented me from following in their 
footsteps — "no girls admitted here" — my vexation 
and mortification knew no bounds. I remember, 
now, how proud and handsome the boys looked to 
me in their new clothes, as they jumped into the old 

36 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

stagecoach and drove off, and how lonely I felt when 
they were gone and I had nothing to do, for the plans 
for my future were yet undetermined. Again I felt 
keenly the humiliation of the distinction made on the 
ground of sex. 

My time was now occupied with riding on horseback, 
studying the game of chess, and continually squabbling 
with the law students over the rights of women. 
Something was always coming up in the experiences 
of everyday life, or in the books we were reading, to 
give us fresh topics for argument. They would read 
passages from the British classics quite as aggravating 
as the laws. They delighted in extracts from Shake- 
speare, especially from "The Taming of the Shrew," 
an admirable satire in itself on the old common law 
of England. I hated Petruchio as if he were a real 
man. Young Henry Bayard would recite with unction 
the famous reply of Milton's ideal woman to Adam: 
"God thy law, thou mine." The Bible, too, was 
brought into requisition. In fact it seemed to me 
that every book taught the "divinely ordained" 
headship of man; but my mind never yielded to this 
popular heresy. 

Chapter III: Girlhood 

MRS. WILLARD'S Seminary at Troy was 
the fashionable school in my girlhood, and 
in the winter of 1830, with upward of a 
hundred other girls, I found myself an active partic- 
ipant in all the joys and sorrows of that institution. 
When in family council it was decided to send me to 
that intellectual Mecca, I did not receive the announce- 
ment with unmixed satisfaction, as I had fixed my 
mind on Union College. The thought of a school 
without boys, who had been to me such a stimulus 
both in study and play, seemed to my imagination 
dreary and profitless. 

The one remarkable feature of my journey to Troy 
was the railroad from Schenectady to Albany, the 
first ever laid in this country. The manner of ascend- 
ing a high hill going out of the city would now strike 
engineers as stupid to the last degree. The passenger 
cars were pulled up by a train, loaded with stones, 
descending on the opposite side of the hill. The more 
rational way of tunneling through the hill or going 
around it had not yet dawned on our Dutch ancestors. 
Or was it the expense which paralyzed them? At 
every step of my journey to Troy, I felt that I was 
treading on my pride, and thus in a hopeless frame 
of mind began my boarding-school career. 

38 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

As there were no courses in the curriculum to sup- 
plement what I had already accomplished in Latin 
and Greek, I got Paley's Moral Philosophy instead 
of Homer or Horace; and in place of Solid Geometry 
and Calculus, which I was prepared to pursue, I had 
to accept Dugald Stewart's Intellectual Philosophy. 

I had a good voice, and enjoyed my singing lessons 
with a guitar accompaniment, and, having an exact 
ear for time, I appreciated the harmony in music and 
motion, and took great delight in dancing. The large 
house, the society of so many girls, the walks about 
the city, the novelty of everything made the new life 
more enjoyable than I had anticipated. To be sure 
I missed the boys, with whom I had grown up, played 
with for years, and later measured my intellectual 
powers with, but as they became a novelty there was 
new zest in occasionally seeing them. After I had been 
at the seminary a short time, I heard a call one day: 
"Heads out!" I ran with the rest and exclaimed, 
"What is it?" expecting to see a giraffe or some other 
wonder from Barnum's Museum. "Why, don't you see 
those boys?" said one. "Oh," I replied, "is that all? 
I have seen boys all my life." When visiting family 
friends in the city, we were in the way of making the 
acquaintance of their sons, and as all social relations 
were strictly forbidden, there was a new interest on 
seeing them. As they were not allowed to call upon 
us or write notes, unless they were brothers or cousins, 
we had, in time, a large number of kinsmen. 

There was an intense interest to me now in writing 
notes, receiving calls, and joining the young men in 
the streets for a walk, such as I had never known when 

Girlhood 39 

in constant association with them at school and in 
our daily amusements. Shut up with girls, most of 
them older than myself, I heard many subjects dis- 
cussed of which I had never thought before, and in 
a manner it were better I had never heard. The 
healthful restraint always existing between boys and 
girls in conversation is apt to be relaxed with either 
sex alone. In all my intimate association with boys 
up to that period, I cannot recall one word or act 
for criticism, but I cannot say the same of the girls 
during the three years I passed at the seminary in 
Troy. My own experience proves to me that it is a 
grave mistake to send boys and girls to separate 
institutions of learning, especially at the most impres- 
sible age. The stimulus of sex promotes a healthy 
condition of the intellectual- and the moral faculties, 
and gives to both a development they never can 
acquire alone. 

The atmosphere of Troy undoubtedly deeply 
impressed me. It cured provincialism. There I came 
in intimate contact with girls from all parts of the 
United States, from Canada, and from Europe. I 
recall the interest we felt in a pupil who had made 
the journey by coach quite alone all the way from 
Michigan. She was our heroine for some time. I 
was distinguished for a day by having traveled on the 
first railway. In those times every pupil who came 
from west of Schenectady was called a "Western 
girl," and as I had to bear the title, I received my first 
lesson in the wisdom of a feeling of unity between East 
and West. I recall the orphan whom Mrs. Willard 
adopted and brought back from France to educate 

40 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in Troy Seminary. She was a charming little girl, 
De Fontevieux by name. She had a lovely voice, 
and she and I used to sing together. One of my 
happiest companionships was that with Mary Young 
Beal, who entered the seminary at the beginning of 
my second year. She was moved by a passion to be 
a teacher, and her ambition made her persona grata 
with Mrs. Willard. Our acquaintance was renewed 
later when Miss Beal became head of the female 
department of the New York Mechanics' Institute. 
Her home was a gathering place for literary men and 
women of the city. One would meet at her weekly 
receptions, among others, H. J. Raymond, George P. 
Putnam, Horace Greeley, Frances Osgood, and Mrs. 
Sigourney, who, by the way, w T as another old Troy 
girl. Two daughters of Gen. Lewis Cass were at Troy 
during my time, the eldest, Elizabeth, graduating 
the year before me. My memory of her is vivid, 
because in her brilliant social winter in Washington 
just after graduation she did not forget the " trudging 
Trojans," but sent us many a witty account of her 
new life. 

There was a Scotch pupil who stirred my imagina- 
tion deeply. Henrietta Dewar had a home in Scot- 
land that played its part in Scott's poetry and novels. 
She used to recite and read Scott to us with a fine 
Scotch burr. This girl friend made literature live 
for me. I have a conviction growing with increasing 
years that I learned quite as much, even in the scholas- 
tic way, from my fellow pupils as from the faculty at 
Troy. In any case no one punctured the folly of 
examinations better than one of the girls. This feat 

Girlhood 41 

was performed in a poem written a few years before 
I entered the school, but the verses remained an 
inheritance as class succeeded class. All Willard 
Seminary girls would recite through its five or six 
stanzas at the appropriate season: 

One has a headache, one a cold, 
One has a neck in flannel rolled; 
Ask the complaint, and you are told, 
Next week's examinations. 

Miss Davidson, the author of the clever verses, reached 
a place of some distinction as a poet, but died too 
early to reveal mature power. 

Mrs. Willard, having spent several months in 
Europe, did not return until I had been at the sem- 
inary some time. I well remember her arrival, and 
the joy with which she was greeted by the teachers 
and pupils who had known her before. She was a 
splendid looking woman, then in her prime, and 
fully realized my idea of a queen. I doubt whether 
any royal personage in the Old World could have 
received her worshipers with more grace and dignity 
than did this far-famed daughter of the Republic. 
She was always robed — one must use the word "robed," 
so majestic was her bearing — in rich black silk or 
satin, and her head was crowned with a large white 
mull turban. She was one of the remarkable women 
of that period, and did a great educational work for 
her sex. She gave free scholarships to a large number 
of promising girls, fitting them for teachers, with a 
proviso that, when the opportunity arose, they should, 
in turn, educate others. 

42 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Her high position as an educationist often received 
public recognition. When the Erie Canal was opened, 
for instance, Governor Clinton invited Mrs. Willard 
and her school to join in the celebration, and La 
Fayette visited the seminary when he was in America 
in 1824. This was before my Troy days, but I was 
often told of the event. I can picture the majestic 
way in which Emma Willard led out her teachers to 
the north gate to meet the distinguished Frenchman. 
She had written an ode of welcome for the occasion, 
which the pupils sang as they filed by the guest. 
Even as late as my day, letters from La Fayette to 
Mrs. Willard were dictated to us as models in French 
diction. These broader interests of the head of the 
school appealed keenly to my imagination, and 
undoubtedly helped to widen my sympathies. I well 
remember her efforts in my second year to interest 
us in a school for girls in Athens, which she was helping 
Dr. Samuel G. Howe to found. She herself devoted 
the proceeds of one of her books to the work, and 
she gave us a glowing picture of how the pupils came 
from all parts of Greece and the surrounding countries 
to this new Athenian center of knowledge. 

Before I went to Troy I knew of Mrs. Willard as 
an author. I recall with what pride of sex I learned 
that the excellent textbook I studied geography from 
was in part the work of a woman. My old Wood- 
bridge's and Willard's Geography I treasured for 
years in Emma Willard's memory. In connection 
with her published books, I am reminded that there 
is one subject I have omitted to mention in my Troy 
curriculum — physiology. Mrs. Willard gave all her 

Girlhood 43 

pupils a thorough grounding in that science. This 
alone marked Troy off from the usual young ladies' 
school of the day. One of my life-long friends, Harriet 
Randall, whom I first met at Troy, told me recently 
that one day in class when she was drawing on the 
blackboard the heart and the arteries and veins, and 
explaining the circulation of the blood, all the mothers 
present rose and left the room. They were shocked 
that such facts should be taught to their daughters. 
Mrs. Willard must have been a thorough master of 
the subject, because about 1850 quite a commotion 
was caused by the publication of her Treatise on the 
Motive Power which Produces the Circulation of the 
Blood. One critic went so far as to declare she had 
placed herself in a category with Harvey and Paxton. 
My heart swelled with pride for my former teacher. 

I shall never forget one incident in my life at the 
seminary that occasioned me much unhappiness. I 
had written a very amusing composition describing 
my room. A friend came in to see me just as I had 
finished it, and, as she asked me to read it to her, I 
did so. She enjoyed it very much, and proposed an 
exchange. She said the rooms were all so nearly 
alike that, with a little alteration, she could use it. 
Being ever ready for a prank, her suggestion won 
a ready assent; but when I read her platitudes I 
was sorry I had changed, and still more so in the 
denouement, which proved to be no joke at all. 

Those selected to prepare compositions read them 

before the whole school. My friend's was received 

with great laughter and applause. The one I read 

not only fell flat, but nearly prostrated me also. As 
1.— 4 

44 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

soon as I had finished, one of the young ladies left the 
room, and, returning in a few moments with her com- 
position book, laid it before the teacher who presided 
that day, showing her the same composition I had 
just read. I was called up at once to explain, but 
was so amazed and confounded that I could not speak, 
and I looked the personification of guilt. I saw at a 
glance the contemptible position I occupied, and felt 
as if the last day had come, that I stood before the 
judgment seat and had heard the awful sentence pro- 
nounced, "Depart ye wicked into everlasting punish- 
ment." How I escaped from that scene to my own 
room I do not know. I was too wretched for tears. 
I sat alone for a long time, when a gentle tap announced 
my betrayer. She put her arms around me affec- 
tionately, and kissed me again and again. 

"Oh!" she said, "you are a hero. You went through 
that trying ordeal like a soldier. I was so afraid, 
when you were pressed with questions, that the whole 
truth would come out and I be forced to stand in your 
place. I am not so brave as you; I could not endure 
it. Now that you are through it and know how bitter 
a trial it is, promise that you will save me from the 
same experience. You are so good and noble I know 
you will not betray me." 

In this supreme moment of misery and disgrace, 
her loving words and warm embrace were like balm 
to my bruised soul and I promised all she asked. The 
girl had penetrated the weak point in my character. 
However, without betrayal on my part, the trick 
came to light. After compositions were read they 
were handed over to a certain teacher for criticism. 


Girlhood 45 

Miss had copied mine, and returned to me the 

original. I had not copied hers. 

As I stood well in school, both for scholarship and 
behavior, my sudden fall from grace occasioned no 
end of discussion. As soon as the teacher discovered 

the two compositions in Miss *s writing, she 

came to me to inquire how I got one of Miss 's 

compositions. She said, " Where is yours that you 
wrote for that day?" Taking it from my portfolio, 
I replied, "Here it is." She then asked, "Did you 
copy it from her book?" I replied, "No; I wrote 
it myself." 

"Then why did you not read your own?" 
We agreed to exchange," said I. 

Did you know that Miss had copied that 

from the book of another young lady?" 

"No, not until I was accused of doing it myself 
before the whole school." 

Why did you not defend yourself on the spot?" 
I could not speak, neither did I know what to say." 

"Why have you allowed yourself to remain in such 
a false position for a whole week?" 

"I do not know." 

"Suppose I had not found this out, did you intend 
to keep silent?" 

"Yes," I replied. 

"Did Miss ask you to do so?" 


I had been a great favorite with this teacher, but 
she was so disgusted with my "stupidity," as she called 
my timidity, that she said: "Really, my child, you 
have not acted in this matter as if you had ordinary 

46 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

common sense." So little do grown people appre- 
ciate the confusion of a child's faculties, under new 
and trying experiences! 

This was my first sad lesson in human duplicity. 
The episode, unfortunately, destroyed in a measure 
my confidence in my companions, and made me sus- 
picious even of those who came to me with appreciative 
words. Up to this time I had accepted all things as 
they seemed on the surface. Now I began to wonder 
what lay behind the visible conditions about me. 
Perhaps the experience was beneficial, as it is quite 
necessary for a young girl, thrown wholly on herself 
for the first time among strangers, to learn caution 
in all she says and does. The atmosphere of home 
life, where all disguises and pretensions are thrown 
off, is quite different from a large school, with the petty 
jealousies and antagonisms that arise in daily com- 
petition in dress, studies, accomplishments, and amuse- 

The next happening in Troy that seriously influenced 
my character was the advent of the Rev. Charles G. 
Finney, a pulpit orator, who, as a terrifier of human 
souls, proved himself the equal of Savonarola. He 
held a protracted meeting, which many of my school- 
mates attended. We were at all the public services, 
beside the daily prayer and experience meetings held 
in the seminary. Our studies, for the time, held a 
subordinate place to the more important duty of 
saving our souls. The result of six weeks of untiring 
effort on the part of Mr. Finney and his confreres 
was one of those intense revival seasons that swept 
over the city and through the seminary like an epi- 

Girlhood 47 

demic, attacking in its worst form the most susceptible. 
Owing to my gloomy Calvinistic training in the old 
Scotch Presbyterian Church, and my vivid imagina- 
tion, I was one of the first victims. 

The revival fairly started, the most excitable were 
soon on the anxious seat. There we learned the total 
depravity of human nature, and the sinner's awful 
danger of everlasting punishment. This was enlarged 
upon until the most innocent girl believed herself a 
monster of iniquity, and felt certain of eternal damna- 
tion. Then God's hatred of sin was emphasized, and 
his irreconcilable position toward the sinner so justified 
that one felt like a miserable, helpless, forsaken worm 
of the dust in trying to approach him, even in prayer. 
Having brought you into a condition of profound 
humility, the only cardinal virtue for one under con- 
viction, in the depths of your despair you were told 
that it required no herculean effort on your part to 
be transformed into an angel, to be reconciled to God, 
to escape endless perdition. The way to salvation 
was short and simple. We had naught to do but to 
repent and believe and give our hearts to Jesus, who 
was ever ready to receive them. How to do all this 
was the puzzling question. 

With the natural reaction from despair to hope, 
many of us imagined ourselves converted, prayed and 
gave our experiences in the meetings, and at times re- 
joiced in the thought that we were Christians — chosen 
children of God — rather than sinners and outcasts. 

But Doctor Finney's terrible anathemas on the 
depravity and deceitfulness of the human heart soon 
shortened our newborn hopes. His appearance in 

48 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the pulpit on these memorable occasions is indelibly- 
impressed on my mind. I can see him now, his great 
eyes rolling around and his arms flying about in the 
air like a windmill. One evening he described hell 
and the devil and the long procession of sinners being 
swept down the rapids, about to make the awful plunge 
into the burning depths of liquid fire below, and the 
rejoicing hosts in the inferno coming up to meet them, 
with the shouts of the devils echoing through the vaulted 
arches. He suddenly halted, and, pointing his index 
finger at the supposed procession, he exclaimed: 

"There, do you not see them?" 

I was wrought up to such a pitch that I actually 
jumped up and gazed in the direction to which he 
pointed, while the picture glowed before my eyes and 
remained with me for months afterwards. I cannot 
forbear saying that, although high respect is due to 
the intellectual, moral, and spiritual gifts of the ven- 
erable ex-president of Oberlin College, such preaching 
worked incalculable harm to the very soul he sought 
to save. Fear of the Judgment seized my soul. 
Visions of the lost haunted my dreams. Mental 
anguish prostrated my health. Returning home, I 
often at night roused my father from his slumbers to 
pray for me lest I should be cast into the bottomless 
pit before morning. 

To change the current of my thoughts a trip was 
planned to Niagara, and it was decided that the sub- 
ject of religion was to be tabooed altogether. Accord- 
ingly, our party, consisting of my sister, her husband, 
Edward Bayard, my father, and myself, started in 
our private carriage, and for six weeks I heard nothing 

Girlhood 49 

on the subject. My religious superstitions gave place 
to rational ideas based on scientific facts, and in pro- 
portion, as I looked at everything from a new stand- 
point, I grew more and more happy, day by day. 
Thus, with a delightful journey and entire change in 
the current of my thoughts, my mind was restored to 
its normal condition. I view it as one of the greatest 
crimes to shadow the minds of the young with these 
gloomy superstitions, and with fears of the unknown 
and the unknowable to poison all their joy in life. 

After the restraint of childhood at home and in 
school, what a period of irrepressible joy and freedom 
comes to us in girlhood with the first taste of liberty. 
Then is our individuality in a measure recognized, and 
our feelings and opinions consulted; then we decide 
where and when we will come and go, what we will 
eat, drink, wear, and do. To suit one's own fancy in 
clothes, to buy what one likes, and wear what one 
chooses, is a great privilege to most young people, 
To go out at pleasure, to walk, to ride, to drive, with 
no one to say us nay or question our right to liberty, 
this is indeed like a birth into a new world of happiness 
and freedom. 

This is the period too, when the emotions rule us, 
and we idealize everything in life. Then comes that 
dream of bliss that throws a halo of glory around the 
most ordinary characters in everyday life, holding 
the strongest and most common-sense young men 
and women in a thraldom from which few mortals 
escape — the period when love, in soft silver tones, 
whispers his first words of adoration. What dignity 
it adds to a young girl's estimate of herself when 

50 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

some man makes her feel that in her hands rest his 
future peace and happiness! Though these seasons 
of intoxication may come once to all, they are seldom 
repeated. How often in after-life we long for one more 
such rapturous dream of bliss, one more season of 
supreme love and passion! 

After leaving school, until my marriage, I had the 
most pleasant years of my girlhood. With frequent 
visits to a large circle of friends and relatives in various 
towns and cities, the monotony of home life was suf- 
ficiently broken to make our simple country pleasures 
always delightful and enjoyable. An entirely new 
life now opened to me. The old bondage of fear of 
the visible and the invisible was broken, and, no longer 
subject to absolute authority, I rejoiced in the dawn 
of a new day of freedom in thought and action. 

My brother-in-law, Edward Bayard, ten years my 
senior, was an inestimable blessing to me at this time, 
especially as my mind was just then opening to the 
consideration of all the varied problems of life. To 
me and my sisters he was a companion in all our 
amusements, and a counselor in all our youthful trials 
and disappointments. He was of a metaphysical 
turn of mind, and in the pursuit of truth was in no 
way trammeled by popular superstitions. He took 
nothing for granted, and, like Socrates, went about 
asking questions. 

One great advantage of the years my sisters and I 
spent at the Troy Seminary was the large number of 
pleasant acquaintances we made there, many of which 
ripened into lifelong friendships. From time to time 
our classmates visited us, and all alike enjoyed the 

Girlhood 51 

intellectual fencing in which my brother-in-law drilled 
them. He discoursed with us on law, philosophy, 
political economy, history, and poetry, and together 
we read novels without number. The long winter 
evenings thus passed pleasantly, Mr. Bayard alter- 
nately talking and reading aloud Scott, Bulwer, James, 
Cooper, and Dickens, whose works were just then com- 
ing out in numbers from week to week, always leaving 
us in suspense at the most critical point of the story. 

Part of the time Margaret Christie, a young girl 
of Scotch descent, was a member of our family circle. 
She taught us French and music. Our days were too 
short for all we had to do, for our time was not wholly 
given to pleasure. We were required to keep our 
rooms in order, mend and make our clothes, and do 
our own ironing. The latter was one of my mother's 
politic requirements, to make our laundry lists as 
short as possible. Ironing on hot days in summer 
was a sore trial to all of us; but Miss Christie, being 
of an inventive turn of mind, soon taught us a short 
way out of it. She folded and smoothed her under- 
garments with her hands, and then sat on them for a 
specified time. We all followed her example and thus 
utilized the hours devoted to reading Corinne and 
Telemaque in this primitive style of ironing our clothes. 
But for dresses, collars and cuffs, and pocket handker- 
chiefs, we were compelled to wield the hot iron; hence 
with these articles we used all due economy, and my 
mother's object was thus accomplished. 

We had a constant source of amusement and vexa- 
tion in the students in my father's office. A succes- 
sion of them was always coming fresh from college 

52 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and full of conceit. Aching to try their powers of 
debate on graduates from the Troy Seminary, they 
politely questioned all our theories and assertions. 
However, with my brother-in-law's training in analysis 
and logic, we were a match for any of them. Nothing 
pleased me better than a long argument with them 
on woman's equality, which I tried to prove by a 
diligent study of the books they read and the games 
they played. I confess that I did not study so much 
for a love of the truth or my own development, in 
these days, as to make those young men recognize my 
equality, and I soon noticed that, after losing a few 
games of chess, my opponent talked less of masculine 
superiority. I 

Our lives were still further varied and intensified by 
the usual number of flirtations, so-called, more or less 
lasting or evanescent, from all of which I emerged, 
as from my religious experiences, in a more rational 
frame of mind. We had been too much in the society 
of men to idealize the sex in general. In addition to 
our own observations, we had the advantage of our 
brother-in-law's council. However, in spite of all 
our own experiences and of all the warning words of 
wisdom from those who had seen life in its many 
phases, we entered the charmed circle at last, all but 
one marrying into the legal profession, with its odious 
statute laws and infamous decisions; especially repre- 
hensible in me, perhaps, since I had read Blackstone, 
Kent, and Story, and thoroughly understood the 
status of the wife under the old common law of Eng- 
land, which was in force at that time in most of the 
states of the Union. 

Chapter IV: Life at Peterboro 

THE year, with us, was never considered com- 
plete without a visit to Peterboro, New York, 
the home of Gerrit Smith, my mother's 
nephew. Though he was a reformer and was very 
radical in many of his ideas, yet being a man of broad 
sympathies, culture, wealth, and position, he drew 
around him many friends of the most conservative 
opinions. He was a man of fine presence, most affable 
and courteous in manner, and his hospitalities were 
generous to an extreme, and dispensed to all classes 
of society. 

Every year representatives from the Oneida tribe 
of Indians visited him. His father had early pur- 
chased of them large tracts of land, and there was a 
tradition among them that, as an equivalent for the 
good bargains of the father, they had a right to the 
son's hospitality, with annual gifts of clothing and 
provisions. The slaves, too, had heard of Gerrit 
Smith, the abolitionist, and of Peterboro as one of 
the safe points en route for Canada. His mansion 
was, in fact, one of the stations on the "underground 
railroad" for slaves escaping from bondage. Hence 
they, too, felt that they had a right to a place under 
his protecting roof. On such occasions the barn and 
the garret were utilized as chambers for the black 

54 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

man from the Southern plantation and the red man 
from his home in the forest. 

The spacious home was always enlivened with 
society from every part of the country. There one 
would meet members of the families of the old Dutch 
aristocracy, the Van Rensselaers, the Van Vechtens, 
the Schuylers, the Bleeckers, the Brinkerhoffs, the 
Ten Eycks, and then the Millers, the Seymours, the 
Livingstons, the Biddies, the Barclays, the Wendells, 
and many others. As the lady of the house, Ann 
Carroll Fitzhugh, was the daughter of a slaveholder 
of Maryland, many agreeable Southerners were often 
among the guests. Our immediate family relatives 
were well represented by General Cochrane 1 and 
his sisters, General Baird and his wife from West 
Point, the Fitzhughs from Oswego and Geneseo, the 
Backuses and Tallmans from Rochester, and the 
Swifts from Geneva. Here one was sure to meet 
scholars, philosophers, philanthropists, judges, bishops, 
clergymen, and statesmen. 

Judge Alfred Conkling — the father of United States 
Senator Roscoe Conkling — was, in his late years, fre- 
quently seen at Peterboro. Tall and stately, after 
all life's troubled scenes, financial losses, and domestic 
sorrows, he used to say there was no spot on earth 
that seemed so like his idea of paradise. The proud, 
reserved judge was unaccustomed to manifestations 
of affection and tender interest in his behalf, and 
when Gerrit, taking him by both hands, would, in his 
softest tone, say, "Good morning, ,, and inquire how 
he had slept and what he would like to do that day, 

1 Acting mayor of New York at time of Tweed Ring disclosures in 1872. 

Life at Peterboro 55 

and Nancy would greet him with equal warmth and 
pin a little bunch of roses in his buttonhole, I have 
seen the tears in his eyes. Their warm sympathies 
and sweet simplicity of manner melted the sternest 
nature, and made the most reserved responsive. There 
never was such an atmosphere of love and peace, of 
freedom and good cheer! To go anywhere else, after 
a visit to Peterboro, was like coming down from the 
divine heights into the valley of humiliation. 

The only daughter of the house, Elizabeth, 1 added 
greatly to the attractions of the home circle, as she 
drew many young people around her. Beside her 
personal charm, she was the heiress of a vast estate, 
and had many admirers. The favored one was Charles 
Dudley Miller of Utica, nephew of Mrs. Blandina 
Bleecker Dudley, founder of the Albany Observatory. 
At the close of his college life Mr. Miller had not only 
mastered the curriculum, but had learned the secret 
windings of the human heart. He understood the 
art of pleasing. 

These were the times when the antislavery question 
was up for hot discussion. In all the neighboring 
towns conventions were held in which James G. 
Birney, a Southerner who had emancipated his slaves, 
Charles Stuart of Scotland, and George Thompson 
of England, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, 
Samuel J. May, Beriah Greene, Stephen Foster, Abby 
Kelly, and Lucretia Mott, and others took part. 
After the adjournment of the convention, the leaders 
always turned to Peterboro as a Mecca. Here, too, 
John Brown, Frank Sanborn, Morton, and Frederick 

l To whom the first letters are addressed, June 4, July 20, 1839, 

56 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Douglas met later to talk over the fatal move on 
Harper's Ferry. On the question of temperance, 
also, the people were in a ferment. To this cause 
Gerrit Smith was not only a generous subscriber, 
but an active supporter. This brought the Cheevers, 
the Pierponts, the Delavans, the Nortons, and their 
charming wives to Peterboro. It was with such 
company and varied discussions on every possible 
phase of political, religious, and social life that I 
spent weeks every year. Gerrit Smith was cool and 
calm in debate, and, as he was armed at all points 
on these subjects, he could afford to be patient and 
fair with an opponent, whether on the platform or 
at the fireside. These rousing arguments at Peter- 
boro made social life seem tame and profitless else- 
where, and the youngest of us felt that the conclusions 
reached in this school of philosophy were not to be 
questioned. The sisters of General Cochrane, in a 
dispute with their Dutch cousins in Schenectady and 
Albany, were heard to end all controversy by saying, 
"This question was fully discussed at Peterboro, 
and settled." 

It was in Peterboro that I first met one who was 
then considered the most eloquent and impassioned 
orator on the antislavery platform, Henry B. Stanton. 1 
He had come over from Utica with Alvin Stewart's 
beautiful daughter, to whom report said he was engaged; 
but, as she soon after married Luther R. Marsh, there 
was a mistake somewhere. However, the rumor had 
its advantages. Regarding him as not in the matri- 

1 Born at Griswold, Connecticut, June 27, 1805; lawyer, senator, and 
journalist; died in New York City, January 14, 1887. 

Life at Peterboro 57 

monial market, we were all much more free and easy 
in our manners with him than we would otherwise have 
been. As I had a passion for oratory, I was deeply 
impressed with his power. He was not so smooth 
and eloquent as Phillips, but could make his audience 
both laugh and cry; the latter, Phillips himself said 
he never could do. Mr. Stanton was then in his 
prime, a fine-looking affable young man, with remark- 
able conversational talent, and was ten years my 
senior, with the advantage that the number of years 
necessarily gives. 

Two carriage loads of guests drove off every morn- 
ing to one of these conventions, returning late at 
night. I shall never forget those charming drives 
over the hills in Madison County, the bright autumnal 
days, and the bewitching moonlight nights. The 
enthusiasm of the people in these great meetings, the 
thrilling oratory, and lucid arguments of the speakers, 
all conspired to make these days memorable in my 
life. It seemed to me that I never had so much hap- 
piness crowded into one short month. I had become 
interested in the antislavery and temperance questions, 
and was deeply impressed with the appeals and argu- 
ments. I felt a new inspiration in life, and was enthused 
with new ideas of individual rights and the basic 
principles of government; for the antislavery platform 
was the best school the American people ever had on 
which to learn republican principles and ethics. These 
conventions and the discussions at my cousin's fireside, 
I count among the great blessings of my life. 

One morning, as we came out from breakfast, Mr. 
Stanton joined me on the piazza, where I was walking 

58 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

up and down enjoying the balmy air and the beauty 
of the foliage. "As we have no convention/' said he, 
"on hand, what do you say to a ride on horseback 
this morning ?" I readily accepted the suggestion, 
ordered the horses, put on my habit, and away we 
went. The roads were fine, and we took a long ride. 
As we were returning home we stopped often to admire 
the scenery and, perchance, each other. When walk- 
ing slowly through a beautiful grove, he laid his hand 
on the horn of my saddle and, to my surprise, made 
one of those charming revelations of human feeling 
which brave knights have always found eloquent 
words to utter, and to which fair ladies have always 
listened with mingled emotion of pleasure and aston- 
ishment. One outcome of those glorious days of 
October, 1839, was a marriage, in Johnstown, the 
10th of May, 1840, and a voyage to the Old World. 

Six weeks of that charming autumn, ending in the 
Indian summer, with its peculiarly hazy atmosphere, 
I lingered in Peterboro. It seems in retrospect like 
a beautiful dream. A succession of guests was con- 
stantly coming and going, and still I remember the 
daily drives over the hills crowned with trees now 
gorgeous in rich colors, the more charming because 
we knew the time was short before the cold winds of 
November would change all. 

With the charm of this season of the year there is 
always a touch of sadness in nature, and it seemed 
doubly so to me, as my engagement was not one of 
unmixed joy and satisfaction. Among all conserva- 
tive families there was a strong aversion to abolitionists 
and the whole antislavery movement. Cousin Gerrit 

Life at Peterboro 59 

warned me, in deep, solemn tones, while strongly 
eulogizing my lover, that my father would never 
consent to my marriage with an abolitionist. He 
felt in duty bound, as my engagement had occurred 
under his roof, to free himself from all responsibility 
by giving me a long dissertation on love, friendship, 
marriage, and all the pitfalls for the unwary, who, 
without due consideration, formed matrimonial rela- 
tions. The general principles laid down in this inter- 
view did not strike my youthful mind so forcibly as 
the suggestion that it was better to announce my 
engagement by letter than to wait until I returned 
home, as thus I might draw the hottest fire while still 
in safe harbor, where Cousin Gerrit could help me 
defend the weak points in my position. So I lingered 
at Peterboro to prolong the dream of happiness and 
postpone the conflict I feared to meet. 

But my father understood the advantage of our 
position as well as we did, and wasted no ammunition 
on us. Being even more indignant at his nephew than 
at me, he quietly waited until I returned home, when 
I passed through the ordeal of another interview, with 
another dissertation on domestic relations from a 
financial standpoint. These were two of the most 
bewildering interviews I ever had. They succeeded 
in making me feel that the step I proposed to take 
was the most momentous and far-reaching in its conse- 
sequences of any in this mortal life. Heretofore, my 
apprehensions had all been of death and eternity; 
now life itself was filled with fears and anxiety as to 
the possibilities of the future. Thus these two noble 

men, who would have done anything for my happiness, 
1.— 5 

60 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

actually overweighted my conscience and turned the 
sweetest dream of my life into a tragedy. How little 
strong men, with their logic, sophistry, and hypothet- 
ical examples, appreciate the violence they inflict on 
the tender sensibilities of a woman's heart, in trying 
to subjugate her to their will! The love of protecting 
too often degenerates into downright tyranny. For- 
tunately all these somber pictures of a possible future 
were thrown into the background by the tender mis- 
sives every post brought me, in which the brilliant 
word-painting of one of the most eloquent pens of this 
generation made the future for us both as bright and 
beautiful as spring with her verdure and blossoms of 

But, to turn back, many things were always trans- 
piring at Peterboro to rouse new interest in humanity 
at large. One day, as a bevy of us girls were singing 
and chattering in the parlor, Cousin Gerrit entered, 
and, in mysterious tones, said, "I have a most im- 
portant secret to tell you, which you must keep to 
yourselves religiously for twenty - four hours." We 
readily pledged ourselves in the most solemn manner, 
individually and collectively. "Now," said he, "follow 
me to the third story." This we did, wondering what 
the secret could be. At last, opening a door, he 
ushered us into a large room, in the center of which 
sat a beautiful quadroon girl, about eighteen years 
of age. Addressing her, he said: "Harriet, I have 
brought all my young cousins to see you. I want 
you to make good abolitionists of them by telling 
them the history of your life — what you have seen and 
suffered in slavery." 

Life at Peterboro 61 

Turning to us he said, "Harriet has just escaped 
from her master, who is visiting in Syracuse, and is 
on her way to Canada. She will start this evening, 
and you may never have another opportunity of seeing 
a slave girl face to face; so ask her all you care to 
know." For two hours we listened to the sad story 
of her childhood and youth, separated from all her 
family and sold for her beauty in a New Orleans 
market when but fourteen years of age. The details 
of her story I need not repeat. The fate of such girls 
is too well known to need rehearsal. We all wept 
together as she talked, and, when Cousin Gerrit 
returned to summon us away, we needed no further 
education to make us earnest abolitionists. 

Dressed as a Quakeress, Harriet started at twilight 
with one of Mr. Smith's faithful clerks in a carriage 
for Oswego, there to cross the lake to Canada. The 
next day her master and the marshals from Syracuse 
were on her track in Peterboro and traced her to Mr. 
Smith's premises. He was quite gracious in receiving 
them, and, while assuring them that there was no 
slave there, he said they were at liberty to make a 
thorough search of the house and grounds. He 
invited them to stay and dine and kept them talking 
as long as possible, as every hour helped Harriet to 
get beyond their reach. The master was evidently 
a gentleman, for, on Mr. Smith's assurance that 
Harriet was not there, he made no search, feeling that 
they could not do so without appearing to doubt his 
word. He was apparently surprised to find an aboli- 
tionist so courteous and affable, and it was interesting 
to hear them in conversation at dinner calmly dis- 

62 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

cussing the problem of slavery, while public sentiment 
was at white heat on the question. They shook hands 
warmly at parting, and expressed an equal interest in 
the final adjustment of that national difficulty. 

In due time the clerk returned with the good news 
that Harriet was safe with friends in a good situation 
in Canada. 

Like the varied combinations of the kaleidoscope, 
the scenes in our social life at Peterboro were con- 
tinually changing from grave to gay. Some years 
later we had a most hilarious occasion at the marriage 
of Mary Cochrane, sister of Gen. John Cochrane, to 
Chapman Biddle of Philadelphia. The festivities, 
which were kept up for three days, involved most 
elaborate preparations for breakfasts, dinners, etc., 
there being no Delmonico's in that remote part of 
the country. It was decided in family council that 
we had sufficient culinary talent under the roof to 
prepare the entire menu of substantials and delicacies, 
from soup and salmon to cakes and creams. So, 
gifted ladies and gentlemen were impressed into the 
service. The Fitzhughs all had a natural talent for 
cooking, and chief among them was Isabella, wife of 
a naval officer, Lieutenant Swift of Geneva, who made 
a profound study of all the authorities, from Arches- 
tratus down to our own Miss Leslie. Accordingly, 
she was elected manager of the occasion, and to each 
one was assigned the specialty in which she claimed 
to excel. Those who had no specialty were assistants 
to those who had. In this humble office — "assistant 
at large" — I labored throughout. 

Cooking is a high art, A wise Egyptian said 3 long 

Life at Peterboro 63 

ago, "The degree of taste and skill manifested by a 
nation in the preparation of food may be regarded 
as to a very considerable extent proportioned to its 
culture and refinement/' In early times men only 
were deemed capable of handling fire, whether at the 
altar or the hearthstone. We read in the Scriptures 
that Abraham prepared cakes of fine meal, and a calf 
tender and good, which, with butter and milk, he set 
before the three angels in the plains of Mamre. We 
are told, too, of the chief butler and chief baker as 
officers in the household of King Pharaoh. I would 
like to call attention to the dignity of this profession, 
which some young women affect to despise. The 
fact that angels eat, shows that we may be called upon 
in the next sphere to cook even for cherubim and 
seraphim. How important, then, to cultivate one's 
gift in that direction! 

With such facts before us, we stirred and pounded, 
whipped and ground, coaxed the delicate meats from 
crabs and lobsters, and the succulent peas from the 
pods, and grated corn and coconut with the same 
cheerfulness and devotion that we played Mendelssohn's 
"Songs Without Words" on the piano, the Spanish 
fandango on our guitars, or danced the minuet, polka, 
lancers, or Virginia reel. 

During the day of the wedding every stagecoach 
was crowded with guests from the North, South, 
East, and West, and, as twilight deepened, carriages 
began to roll in with neighbors and friends living at 
short distances, until the house and grounds were 
full. A son of Bishop Coxe, who married the tall and 
stately sister of Roscoe Conkling, performed the 

6\ Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

ceremony. The beautiful young bride was given 
away by her Uncle Gerrit. The congratulations, 
the feast, and all went off with fitting decorum in the 
usual way. The best proof of the excellence of our 
viands was that they were all speedily swept from 
mortal view, and every housewife wanted a recipe 
for something. 

As the gala dinner was to come off the next day, 
our thoughts now turned in that direction. The 
responsibility rested heavily on the heads of the chief 
actors, and they reported troubled dreams and unduly 
early rising. Dear Belle Swift was up in season, and 
her white soup stood serenely in a tin pan, on an upper 
shelf, before the town clock struck seven. If it had 
not taken that position so early it might have been 
incorporated with higher forms of life than that into 
which it eventually fell. Another artist was also 
on the wing early, and in pursuit of a tin pan in which 
to hide her precious compound, she unwittingly seized 
this one, and the rich white soup rolled down her 
raven locks like the oil on Aaron's beard, and enveloped 
her in a veil of filmy whiteness. I heard the splash 
and the exclamation of surprise and entered the 
butler's pantry just in time to see the heiress of the 
Smith estate standing like a statue, tin pan in hand, 
soup in her curls, her eyebrows and eyelashes — collar, 
cuffs, and morning dress saturated — and Belle, at a 
little distance, looking at her and at the soup on the 
floor with surprise and disgust depicted on every 
feature. The tableau was inexpressibly comical, and 
I could not help laughing outright; whereupon Belle 
turned on me, and, with indignant tones, said, "If 

Life at Peterboro 65 

you had been up since four o'clock making that soup 
you would not stand there laughing without the least 
feeling of pity!" Poor Lizzie was very sorry, and 
would have shed tears, but they could not penetrate 
that film of soup. I tried to apologize, but could 
only laugh the more when I saw Belle crying and 
Lizzie standing as if hoping that the soup might be 
scraped off her and gathered from the floor and made 
to do duty on the occasion. 

After breakfast, ladies and gentlemen, alike in white 
aprons, crowded into the dining-room and kitchen, 
each to perform the allotted task. George Biddle of 
Philadelphia and John B. Miller of Utica, in holiday 
spirits, were irrepressible — everywhere at the same 
moment, helping or hindering as the case might be. 
Dear Belle, having only partially recovered from the 
white soup catastrophe, called Mr. Biddle to hold the 
ice-cream freezer while she poured in the luscious 
compound she had just prepared. He held it up 
without resting it on anything, while Belle slowly 
poured in the cream. As the freezer had no indenta- 
tions round the top or rim to brace the thumbs and 
fingers, when it grew suddenly heavier his hands 
slipped and down went the whole thing. In another 
corner sat Wealthea Backus, grating some coconut. 
While struggling in that operation, John Miller, 
feeling hilarious, was annoying her in divers ways; 
at length she drew the grater across his nose gently, 
as she intended, but alas! she took the skin off, and 
John's beauty, for the remainder of the festivities, 
was marred with a black patch on that prominent 
feature. Strange to say, a most excellent feast emerged 

66 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

from all this uproar and confusion. The table, with 
its silver, china, flowers, and rich viands, the guests 
in satins, velvets, jewels, soft laces, and bright cravats, 
together reflecting all the colors of the prism, looked 
as beautiful as the rainbow after a thunderstorm. 

In 1876 I made my last sad visit to that spot so 
rich with memories of bygone days. A few relatives 
and family friends gathered there to pay the last 
token of respect to our noble cousin. It was on one 
of the coldest days of gray December that we laid 
him in the frozen earth, to be seen no more. 

Outside the mansion everything in its wintry garb 
was cold and still, and all within was silent as the 
grave. The central figure, the light and joy of that 
home, had vanished forever. He who had welcomed 
us on that threshold for half a century would welcome 
us no more. We did what we could to dissipate the 
gloom that settled on us all. We did not intensify 
our grief by darkening the house and covering our- 
selves with black crape, but wore our accustomed 
dresses of chastened colors and opened all the blinds 
that the glad sunshine might stream in. We hung 
the apartment where the casket stood with wreaths 
of evergreen, and overhead we wove his favorite 
mottoes in living letters, " Equal rights for all!'' 
"Rescue Cuba now!" The religious services were 
short and simple; the Unitarian clergyman from 
Syracuse made a few remarks, the children from the 
orphan asylum, in which he was deeply interested, 
sang his favorite hymn. With a few appropriate 
words from Gen. John Cochrane, we left our beloved 
kinsman alone in his last resting place, 

Chapter V : Our Wedding Journey 

MY engagement was a season of doubt and 
conflict — doubt as to the wisdom of chang- 
ing a girlhood of freedom and enjoyment 
for I knew not what, and conflict because the step I 
proposed was in opposition to the wishes of all my 
family. Whereas, heretofore, friends were continually 
suggesting suitable matches for me, and painting the 
marriage relation in the most dazzling colors, now 
that state was represented as beset with dangers and 
disappointments, and men, of all God's creatures, as 
the most unreliable. Hard pressed, I broke my 
engagement, after months of anxiety and bewilder- 
ment; suddenly I decided to renew it, as Mr. Stanton 
was going to Europe as a delegate to the World's 
Antislavery Convention, and we did not wish the 
ocean to roll between us. 

Thursday, May 9, 1840, I determined to take the 
fateful step, without the slightest preparation for a 
wedding or a voyage; but Mr. Stanton, coming up 
the North River, was detained on "Marcy's Over- 
slaugh, " a bar in the river where boats were frequently 
stranded for hours. This delay compelled us to be 
married on Friday, which is commonly supposed to 
be a most unlucky day. But as we lived together 
without more than the usual matrimonial friction 

68 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

for nearly half a century, had seven children, all but 
one of whom are still living, and have been well shel- 
tered, clothed, and fed, enjoying sound minds in sound 
bodies, no one need to be afraid of going through the 
marriage ceremony on Friday for fear of bad luck. 
The Scotch clergyman who married us, being some- 
what superstitious, begged us to postpone the service 
until Saturday; but, as we were to sail early in the 
coming week, that was impossible. That point settled, 
the next difficulty was to persuade him to leave out 
the word "obey" in the marriage ceremony. As I 
obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed 
I was entering into an equal relation, that point, too, 
was conceded. A few friends were invited to be 
present, and, in a simple white evening dress, I was 

Sister Madge, who had stood by me bravely through 
all my doubts and anxieties, went with us to New York, 
and saw us on board the vessel. My sister Harriet 
and her husband, Daniel C. Eaton, a merchant in 
New York City, were also there. He and I had had 
for years a standing game of "tag" at all our partings, 
and he had vowed to send me "tagged" to Europe. 
I was equally determined that he should not. Accord- 
ingly, I had a desperate chase after him all over the 
vessel, but in vain. He had the last "tag" and 
escaped. As I was compelled, under the circumstances, 
to conduct the pursuit with some degree of decorum, 
and he had the advantage of height, long limbs, and 
freedom from skirts, I really stood no chance whatever. 
However, as the chase kept us all laughing, it helped 
to soften the bitterness of parting. 

Our Wedding Journey 69 

Fairly at sea, I closed another chapter of my life, 
and my thoughts turned to what lay in the near future. 
James G. Birney, the antislavery nominee for the 
presidency of the United States, joined us in New 
York, and was a fellow-passenger on the Montreal for 
England. He as well as my husband was a delegate 
to the World's Antislavery Convention, and also 
interested himself in my antislavery education. They 
gave me books to read, and as we paced the deck 
day by day, the question was the chief theme of our 

Mr. Birney was a polished gentleman of the old 
school, and was excessively proper and punctilious in 
manner and conversation. I soon perceived that he 
thought I needed considerable toning down before 
reaching England. I was quick to see and under- 
stand that his criticisms of others in a general way, 
and the drift of his discourses on manners and con- 
versation, had a nearer application than he intended I 
should discover, though he hoped I would profit by 
them. I was always grateful to anyone who took an 
interest in my improvement, so I laughingly told him 
one day that he need not make his criticisms any 
longer in that roundabout way, but might take me 
squarely in hand and polish me up as speedily as 
possible. Sitting in the saloon at night after a game 
of chess in which, perchance, I had been the victor, 
I felt complacent and would sometimes say: "Well, 
what have I said or done to-day open to criticism ?" 

So, in the most gracious manner, he replied on one 
occasion: "You went to the masthead in a chair, which 
I think very unladylike. I heard you call your hus- 

70 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

band f Henry' in the presence of strangers, which is 
not permissible in polite society. You should always 
say 'Mr. Stanton/ You have taken three moves 
back in this game." "Bless me!" I replied, "what a 
catalogue in one day! I fear my mentor will despair 
of my ultimate perfection." "I should have more 
hope," he replied, "if you seemed to feel my rebukes 
more deeply, but you evidently think them of too 
little consequence to be much disturbed by them." 

As he found even more fault with my husband, we 
condoled with each other, and decided that our friend 
was rather hypercritical and that we were as nearly 
perfect as mortals need be for the wear and tear of 
ordinary life. Being both endowed with a good 
degree of self-esteem, neither the praise nor the blame 
of mankind was overpowering to either of us. As 
the voyage lasted eighteen days — for we were on a 
sailing vessel — we had time to make some improve- 
ment, or, at least, to consider all friendly suggestions. 

At this time Mr. Birney was very much in love with 
Miss Fitzhugh of Geneseo, to whom he was afterward 
married. He suffered at times great depression of 
spirits, but I could always rouse him to a sunny mood 
by introducing her name. That was a theme of 
which he never grew weary, and, while praising her, 
a halo of glory was to him visible around my head, 
and I was faultless for the time being. There was 
nothing in our fellow passengers to break the monotony 
of the voyage. They were all stolid, middle-class 
English people, returning from various parts of the 
world to visit their native land. A Mrs. Noseworthy 
— the very name caused us much amusement — from 

Our Wedding Journey 71 

Zanzibar, "on the coast of Africa," she would say 
with a flourish as though it were the coast of England 
or France, or some other civilized region, afforded us 
considerable entertainment with her vulgar oddities. 
She talked incessantly about her private affairs, which 
were trivial, and always referred to her husband as 
"Noseworthy," tout court, which seemed vulgar to 
me, though I noticed a few weeks later in London 
that this was the common practice in England, even 
in the best society. This husband, furthermore, turned 
out to be a sort of Micawber, though that character 
had not yet been created, for, she told us " confiden- 
tially," he had failed in all of his life projects, and was 
now hiding his mortification in a far-off nook of the 
Dark Continent. 

Though some amusement, in whatever extraordinary 
way I could obtain it, was necessary to my existence, 
yet, as it was deemed important that I should thor- 
oughly understand the status of the antislavery 
movement in my own country, I spent most of my time 
reading and talking on that question. Being the wife 
of a delegate to the World's Convention, we all felt 
it important that I should be able to answer whatever 
questions I might be asked in England on all phases 
of the slavery question. 

But all things must end in this mortal life, and our 
voyage was near its termination, when we were becalmed 
on the southern coast of England, and could not make 
more than one knot an hour. When within sight of 
land a pilot boat came along and offered to take any- 
one ashore in six hours. I was so delighted at the 
thought of reaching land that, after much persuasion, 

72 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Mr. Stanton and Mr. Birney consented to go. Accord- 
ingly, we were lowered into the boat in an armchair, 
with just enough wind to carry our light craft toward 
our destination. But, instead of six hours, we were 
all day trying to reach the land, and, as twilight 
deepened and the last breeze died away, the pilot said, 
"We are now two miles from shore, but the only way 
you can reach there to-night is by a rowboat." 

As we had no provisions left and nowhere to sleep, 
we were glad to avail ourselves of the rowboat. It 
was a bright moonlight night, the air balmy, the 
waters smooth, and with two stout oarsmen, we glided 
swiftly along. As Mr. Birney made the last descent 
and seated himself, doubtful as to our reaching shore, 
turning to me he said, "The woman tempted me and 
I did leave the good ship." However, we did reach 
the shore at midnight and landed at Torquay, one 
of the loveliest spots in that country, and our journey 
to Exeter the next day lay through the most beautiful 
scenery in England. 

As we had no luggage with us, our detention by 
custom officers was brief, and we were soon conducted 
to a comfortable little hotel, which we found in the 
morning was a bower of roses. I had never imagined 
anything so beautiful as the drive up to Exeter on 
the top of a coach, with four stout horses trotting 
at the rate of ten miles an hour. It was June, and 
the country was in all its glory. The foliage was of 
the softest green, the trees were covered with blos- 
soms, and the shrubs with flowers. The roads were 
perfect; the large, fine-looking coachman, with his 
white gloves and reins, his rosy face and lofty bearing, 

Our Wedding Journey 73 

and the postman in red, blowing his horn as we passed 
through every village, made the drive seem like a 
journey in fairyland. We had heard that England 
was like a garden of flowers, but we were wholly un- 
prepared for such wealth of beauty. 

In Exeter we had our first view of one of the great 
cathedrals in the Old World, and we were all deeply 
impressed with its grandeur. It was just at the twi- 
light hour, when the last rays of the setting sun, 
streaming through the stained glass windows, deepened 
the shadows and threw a mysterious amber light over 
all. As the choir was practicing, the whole effect 
was heightened by the deep tones of the organ rever- 
berating through the arched roof, and the sound of 
human voices as if vainly trying to fill the vast space 
above. The novelty and solemnity of the surround- 
ings roused all our religious emotions, and thrilled every 
nerve in our being. As if moved by the same impulse 
to linger there a while, we all sat down, silently waiting 
for something to break the spell that bound us. Can 
one wonder at the power of the Catholic religion for 
centuries, with such accessories to stimulate the 
imagination to a blind worship of the unknown? 

Sitting in the hotel that evening, and wanting some- 
thing to read, we asked the waiter for the daily papers. 
Having been, as it were, shut from the outside world 
for eighteen days, we had some curiosity to see whether 
our planet was still revolving from west to east. At 
the mention of papers in plural number, the attendant 
gave us a look of surprise, and said he would get "it." 
He returned saying that the gentleman in No. 4 had 

it," but would finish with it in fifteen minutes. Ac- 

a : 

74 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

cordingly, at the end of that time, he brought the news- 
paper, and, after we had had it the same length of 
time, he came to take it to another party. At our 
lodging house in London a paper was left for half an 
hour each morning, and then it was taken to the next 
house, thus serving several families of readers. 

The next day brought us to London. Although I 
had read innumerable descriptions of that wonderful 
city, buried under heavy clouds, damp mists, and 
black fogs, I yet expected to be dazzled and surprised 
with its vastness and grandeur at every turn. But 
I was not. However, I eventually perceived that its 
vastness cannot be grasped at a first glance. I have 
since been overpowered by its extent, for on subsequent 
visits, approaching it by train, I have always wondered 
at the long time it took for the swift-flying cars to 
penetrate to the heart of the city, rolling on mile 
after mile with countless little brick houses on either 
side of the elevated track. Again, some of the finest 
buildings must be seen on all sides, and many times, to 
be thoroughly appreciated. Thus my first impression 
of St. Paul's Cathedral was one of disappointment. 
It seemed dark and gloomy, surrounded with the 
narrow, crooked streets. Then the architecture, 
especially of private houses, without any cornices, so 
plain with their dingy brick fronts, and their uncapped 
windows, made me feel as if human faces without 
eyebrows were staring at me. Though London archi- 
tecture has greatly improved since those days, it still 
lacks the variety and color of New York, for instance, 
among our American cities. London has the reputa- 
tion of being one of the cleanest cities in the world, 

Our Wedding Journey 75 

but I must say it never gives me that impression, and 
especially in 1840 I thought it muddy and unkempt. 

When I first entered our lodging house in Queen 
Street, I thought it the gloomiest abode I had ever 
seen. The arrival of a delegation of ladies the next 
day from Boston and Philadelphia, changed the 
atmosphere of the establishment, and filled me with 
delightful anticipation of some new and charming 
acquaintance, which I fully realized in meeting Emily 
Winslow, Abby Southwick, Elizabeth Neal, Mary 
Grew, Abby Kimber, Sarah Pugh, and Lucretia Mott. 
There had been a split in the American antislavery 
ranks, and delegates came from both branches, and, 
as they were equally represented at our lodgings, I 
became familiar with the whole controversy. The 
potent element which caused the division was the 
woman question, and as the Garrisonian branch main- 
tained the right of women to speak and vote in the 
conventions, all my sympathies were with the Garri- 
sonians, though Mr. Stanton and Mr. Birney belonged 
to the other branch, called political abolitionists. 
To me there was no question so important as the 
emancipation of women from the dogmas of the past, 
political, religious, and social. It struck me as very 
remarkable that abolitionists, who felt so keenly the 
wrongs of the slave, should be so oblivious to the 
equal wrongs of their own mothers, wives, and sisters, 
when, according to the common law, both classes 
occupied a similar legal status. 

The World's Antislavery Convention met June 12, 

1840, in Freemason's Hall, London. Delegates from 

all the antislavery societies of civilized nations were 

76 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

invited, yet, when they arrived, those representing 
associations of women were rejected. Though women 
were members of the American National Antislavery 
Society, accustomed to speak and vote in all its con- 
ventions, and to take equally active part with men 
in the whole antislavery struggle, and were there as 
delegates from associations of men and women, as 
well as those distinctively of their own sex, yet all 
alike were rejected because they were women. Women, 
according to English prejudices at that time, were 
excluded by scriptural texts from sharing equal dignity 
and authority with men in all reform associations; 
hence it was to English minds pre-eminently unfitting 
that women should be admitted as equal members to 
a World's Convention. The question was hotly de- 
bated through an entire day, my husband making a 
very eloquent speech in favor of admitting the women 

When we consider that Lady Byron, Anna Jameson, 
Mary Howitt, Elizabeth Fry, Amelia Opie, Ann 
Green Phillips, Lucretia Mott, and many remarkable 
women, speakers and leaders in the Society of Friends, 
were all compelled to listen in silence to the masculine 
platitudes on woman's sphere, one may form some 
idea of the indignation of such women as Lydia Maria 
Child, Maria Chapman, Angelina and Sarah Grimke 
and Abby Kelly, who were impatiently waiting and 
watching on this side of the water, in painful suspense, 
to hear how their delegates were received. Judging 
from my own feelings, the women on both sides of 
the Atlantic must have been humiliated and chagrined, 
except as these feelings were outweighed by contempt 

Our Wedding Journey 77 

for the shallow reasoning of their opponents, and their 
comical pose and gestures in some of the intensely 
earnest flights of their imagination. 

The clerical portion of the convention was most 
violent in its opposition. The clergymen seemed to 
have God and his angels especially in their care and 
keeping, and were in agony lest the women should 
do or say something to shock the heavenly hosts. 
Their all-sustaining conceit gave them abundant 
assurance that their movements must necessarily be 
all-pleasing to the celestials whose ears were open to 
the proceedings of the World's Convention. Deborah, 
Hulda, Vashti, and Esther might have questioned 
the propriety of calling it a World's Convention, when 
only half of humanity was represented there; but 
what were their opinions worth compared with those 
of Rev. A. Harvey, the Rev. C. Stout, or the Rev. J. 
Burnet, who, Bible in hand, argued woman's sub- 
jection, divinely decreed when Eve was created. 

One of our champions in the convention, George 
Bradburn, a tall thick-set man with a voice like thunder, 
standing head and shoulders above the clerical repre- 
sentatives, swept all their arguments aside by declar- 
ing with tremendous emphasis that if they could prove 
to him that the Bible taught the entire subjection of 
one-half of the race to the other, he should consider 
that the best thing he could do for humanity would 
be to bring together every Bible in the universe and 
make a bonfire of them. 

It was really pitiful to hear the narrow-minded 
bigots, pretending to be teachers and leaders of men, 
so cruelly remanding their own mothers, with the 

78 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

rest of womankind, to absolute subjection to the 
ordinary masculine type of humanity. I always 
regretted that the women themselves had not taken 
part in the debate before the convention was fully 
organized and the question of delegates settled. It 
seemed to me then, and does now, that all delegates 
with credentials from recognized societies should have 
had a voice in the organization of the convention, 
though subject to exclusion afterward. However, 
the women sat in a low-curtained seat like a church 
choir, and modestly listened to the French, British, 
and American Solons for twelve of the longest days 
in June, as did also Garrison and the Rev. William 
Rogers in the gallery. These two men scorned a 
convention that ignored the rights of the very women 
who had fought side by side with them in the anti- 
slavery conflict. "After battling so many long years," 
said Garrison, "for the liberties of African slaves, I 
can take no part in a convention that strikes down 
the most sacred rights of all women." After coming 
three thousand miles to speak on the subject nearest 
his heart, he nobly shared the enforced silence of the 
rejected delegates. It was a great act of self-sacrifice 
that should never be forgotten by women. 

Thomas Clarkson was chosen president of the con- 
vention, and made a few remarks in opening, but he 
soon retired, as his age and many infirmities made 
all public occasions too burdesome, and Joseph Sturge, 
a Quaker, was made chairman. Sitting next to 
Lucretia Mott, I said, "As there is a Quaker in the 
chair now, what could he do if the spirit should move 
you to speak?" She said she had not much faith in 

Our Wedding Journey 79 

the sincerity of abolitionists who, while eloquently 
defending the natural rights of slaves, denied freedom 
of speech to one-half the people of their own race. 

Such was the consistency of an assemblage of philan- 
thropists! They would have been horrified at the 
idea of burning the flesh of the distinguished women 
present with red-hot irons, but the crucifixion of 
their pride and self-respect, the humiliation of the 
spirit, seemed to them a most trifling matter. The 
action of this convention was the topic of discussion, 
in public and private, for a long time, and stung many 
women into new thought and action, and gave rise to 
the movement for women's political equality both 
in England and the United States. 

As the convention adjourned the remark was heard 
on all sides, "It is about time some demand was made 
for new liberties for women." As Mrs. Mott and I 
walked away arm in arm, commenting on the incidents 
of the day, we resolved to hold a convention as soon 
as we returned home, and form a society to advocate 
the rights of women. 1 At the lodging house on Queen 
Street, where a large number of delegates had apart- 
ments, the discussions at every meal were heated, 
and at times so bitter that, at last, Mr. Birney packed 
his valise and sought more peaceful quarters. Having 
strongly opposed the admission of women as delegates 
to the convention, it was rather embarrassing to him 
to meet them, during the intervals between the various 
sessions, at the table and in the drawing-room. 

These were the first women I had ever met who 
believed in the equality of the sexes. The acquaintance 

1 Letters, July 16, September 30, 1848. 

80 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

of Lucretia Mott, who was a broad, liberal thinker on 
politics, religion, and all questions of reform, opened 
to me a new world of thought. As we walked about 
to see the sights of London, I embraced every oppor- 
tunity to talk with her. It was intensely gratifying 
to hear all that I had dimly thought so freely discussed 
by other women, some of them no older than myself — 
women, too, of rare intelligence, cultivation, and 
refinement. After six weeks' sojourn under the same 
roof with Lucretia Mott, whose conversation was 
uniformly on a high plane, I felt that I knew her too 
well to sympathize with the orthodox Friends, who 
denounced her as a dangerous woman because she 
doubted certain dogmas they fully believed. 

As Mr. Birney and my husband were invited to 
speak all over England, Scotland, and Ireland, and 
we were uniformly entertained by orthodox Friends, 
I had abundant opportunity to know the general 
feeling among them toward Lucretia Mott. Even 
Elizabeth Fry seemed quite unwilling to breathe the 
same atmosphere with her. During the six weeks 
that many of us remained in London after the con- 
vention, we were invited to a succession of public 
and private breakfasts, dinners, and teas, and on these 
occasions it was amusing to watch Mrs. Fry's sedulous 
efforts to keep Mrs. Mott at a distance. If Mrs. 
Mott was on the lawn, Mrs. Fry would go into the 
house; if Mrs. Mott was in the house, Mrs. Fry 
would stay out on the lawn. One evening, when we 
were all crowded into two parlors, and there was no 
escape, the word went round that Mrs. Fry felt moved 
to pray with the American delegates, whereupon a 

Our Wedding Journey 81 

profound silence reigned. After a few moments 
Mrs. Fry's voice was heard deploring the schism 
among the American Friends; that so many had 
been led astray by false doctrines; urging the Spirit 
of All Good to show them the error of their way, and 
gather them once more into the fold of the great 
Shepherd of our faith. The prayer was directed so 
pointedly at the followers of Elias Hicks, and at 
Lucretia Mott in particular, that I whispered to 
Lucretia, at the close, that she should now pray for 
Mrs. Fry, that her eyes might be opened to her bigotry 
and uncharitableness, and be led by the Spirit into 
higher light. "Oh, no/' she replied, "a prayer of 
this character, under the circumstances, is an unfair 
advantage to take of a stranger, but I would not 
resent it in the house of her friends. " 

In these gatherings we met the leading Quaker 
families and many other philanthropists of different 
denominations interested in the antislavery move- 
ment. On all these occasions our noble Garrison 
spoke most effectively, and thus our English friends 
had an opportunity of enjoying his eloquence, the 
lack of which had been so grave a loss in the convention, 

We devoted a month sedulously to sightseeing in 
London, and, in the line of the traveler's duty, we 
explored St. Paul's Cathedral, the British Museum, 
the Tower, various prisons, hospitals, galleries of art, 
Windsor Castle, and St. James's Palace, the Zoological 
Gardens, the schools and colleges, the chief theaters 
and churches, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of 
Parliament, and the Courts. We heard the most 
famous preachers, actors, and statesmen. In fact 

82 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

we went to the top and bottom of everything, from 
the dome of St. Paul's to the tunnel under the Thames, 
just then in the process of excavation. We drove 
through the parks, sailed up and down the Thames, 
and then visited every shire but four in England, in 
all of which we had large meetings, Mr. Birney and 
Mr. Stanton being the chief speakers. As we were 
generally invited to stay with Friends, it gave us a 
good opportunity to see the leading families, such as 
the Ashursts, the Alexanders, the Priestmans, the 
Braithwaites, and Buxtons, the Gurneys, the Peases, 
the Winghams of Edinburgh, and the Webbs of Dublin. 
We spent a few days with John Joseph Gurney at 
his beautiful home in Norwich. He had just returned 
from America, having made a tour through the South. 
When asked how he liked America, he said, "I like 
everything but your pie crust and your slavery." 
And this brought out from me, in a letter to my mother, 
a criticism and a defence of our national dish: 

Mr. Gurney's dig at our pie referred to the soggy undercrust so 
many of our American cooks persist in making. The English never 
have an undercrust to their pies, one of the few respects, it seems to 
me, in which English cooking, which is generally atrocious, is superior 
to our own, which also belongs in many respects to the atrocious 
order. The English put the fruit in a deep dish and simply spread 
a nice light crust over it. If there be women, or men either for 
the matter of that, in the United States who know how to make a 
crisp undercrust and bake it to the well-done point, let them pro- 
duce the perfect American pie. But if they cannot accomplish 
this difficult feat, let us have done with our national raw, soaked 
undercrust of dough, which is why dyspepsia has attacked one-half 
of our men, who will eat pie whether it is good, bad or indifferent. 

Though these lines were written in 1840, they still 
hold good to-day. Pie is still with us, and so is the 

Our Wedding Journey 83 

abominable undercrust. All travelers can testify to 
seeing some son of Adam at every railway station in 
America running for the cars with a great piece of 
pie in his hand, which to withstand such wear and 
tear must have an undercrust as tough as sole leather. 
Yet the prospective presidents of this great republic 
all eat it, and will to the end of time. 

It surprised us very much at first, when driving 
into the grounds of some of the beautiful Quaker 
homes, to have the great bell rung at the lodge, and 
to see the number of liveried servants on the porch 
and in the halls, and then to meet the host in plain 
garb, and to be welcomed in plain language: "How 
does thee do, Henry? How does thee do, Elizabeth ?" 
This sounded peculiarly sweet to me — a stranger in 
a strange land. The wealthy English Quakers we 
visited at that time, taking them all in all, were the 
most charming people I had ever seen. They were 
refined and intelligent on all subjects, and though 
rather conservative on some points, were not aggressive 
in pressing their opinions on others. Their hospitality 
was charming and generous, their homes the beau 
ideal of comfort and order, the cuisine faultless, while 
peace reigned over all. The quiet, gentle manner, 
and the soft tones in speaking, and the mysterious 
quiet in these well-ordered homes were like the atmos- 
phere one finds in a modern convent, where the ordinary 
duties of the day seem to be accomplished by some 
magical influence. 

Before leaving London we spent a delightful day 
at the home of Samuel Gurney, surrounded by a fine 
park with six hundred deer roaming about — always 

84 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

a beautiful feature in the English landscape. As the 
Duchess of Sutherland and her brother, Lord Morpeth, 
had expressed a wish to Mrs. Fry to meet some of the 
leading American abolitionists, it was arranged that 
they should call at Mr. Gurney's residence on this 
occasion. Soon after we arrived, the Duchess, with 
her brother and Mrs. Fry, in her state carriage with 
six horses and outriders, drove up to the door. Mr. 
Gurney was evidently embarrassed at the prospect 
of a lord and duchess under his roof. Leaning on the 
arm of Mrs. Fry, the duchess was formally introduced 
to us individually. Mrs. Mott conversed with the 
distinguished guests with the same composure as with 
her own countrywomen. However anxious the English 
people were as to what they should say and do, the 
Americans were all quite at their ease. 

As the Rev. Henry Green had not been presented, 
his daughter, taking his arm, walked forward and 
quietly introduced him to the lord and duchess with 
as much coolness as she would have introduced two of 
her neighbors at home. In fact, her manner seemed 
to indicate that it was a great honor for them to be 
presented to her father. Thereupon, a daughter of 
Mr. Buxton standing by my side said: "What are you 
American girls made of? Not a girl in all England 
could have gone through that ceremony with such 
coolness and dignity." 

"Oh," said I, "you must remember that in our 
country we are all of the blood royal — we are all heirs- 
apparent to the throne." 

That sounded very well on my part for the dignity 
of the republic, but alas! then, more than to-day, I 

Our Wedding Journey 85 

am happy to say, men only were heirs-apparent in 
this land to all the rights, privileges, and immunities 
of citizenship. But at that moment the woman 
suffrage idea had not got implanted in my head, and 
Miss Buxton received an answer that might never 
have been given in that form if it had occurred a few 
years later. 

As Lord Morpeth had some interesting letters from 
the Island of Jamaica to read to us, we formed a circle 
on the lawn to listen. England had just paid one 
hundred millions of dollars to emancipate the slaves, 
and we were all interested in hearing the result of the 
experiment. The distinguished guest in turn had 
many questions to ask in regard to American slavery. 
A discussion on the question of slavery followed, and 
I remember how ashamed we were of this blot on our 

After the departure of the callers, dinner was an- 
nounced. It was a sumptuous meal, most tastefully 
served. There were half a dozen wineglasses at every 
plate, but abolitionists, in those days, were all converts 
to temperance, and, as the bottles went around there 
was a general head-shaking, and the right hand extended 
over the glasses. Our English friends were amazed 
that none of us drank wine. Mr. Gurney said he had 
never before seen such a sight of forty ladies and 
gentlemen sitting down to dinner and none of them 
tasting wine. In talking with him on that point, he 
said: "I suppose your nursing mothers drink beer?" 
I laughed, and said: "Oh no! We should be afraid 
of befogging the brains of our children. " "No danger 
of that," said he; "we are all bright enough, and yet 

86 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

a cask of beer is rolled into the cellar for the mother 
with each newborn child." 

Colonel Miller from Vermont, one of our American 
delegation, was in the Greek war with Lord Byron. 
As Lady Byron had expressed a wish to see him, that 
her daughter might know something of her fathers 
last days, an interview was arranged, and the Colonel 
kindly invited me to accompany him. His account 
of their acquaintance and the many noble traits of 
character Lord Byron manifested, his generous impulses 
and acts of self-sacrifice, seemed particularly gratifying 
to the daughter. It was a sad interview, arranged 
chiefly for the daughter's satisfaction, though Lady 
Byron listened with painful interest. As the Colonel 
was a warm admirer of the great poet, he no doubt 
represented him in the best possible light, and his 
narration of his last days was deeply interesting, 
Lady Byron had a quiet, reserved manner, a sad face, 
and a low, plaintive voice, like one who had known 
deep sorrow. I had seen her frequently in the con- 
vention and at social teas, and had been personally 
presented to her before this occasion. Altogether, I 
thought her a sweet, attractive-looking woman. 

We had a pleasant interview with Lord Brougham 
also. The Philadelphia Antislavery Society sent him 
an elaborate, carved inkstand, made from the wood 
of Pennsylvania Hall, which was destroyed by a pro- 
slavery mob. Mr. Birney made a most graceful 
speech in presenting the memento, and Lord Brougham 
was equally happy in receiving it. 

One of the most notable characters we met at this 
time was Daniel O'Connell. He made his first appear- 

Our Wedding Journey 87 

ance in the London Convention a few days after the 
women had been rejected. He paid a beautiful trib- 
ute to woman, and said that if he had been present 
when the question was under discussion he should 
have spoken and voted for their admission. He was 
a magnificent-looking man, and probably one of the 
most effective speakers Ireland ever produced. I 
saw him at a great India meeting in Exeter Hall, where 
some of the best orators from France, America, and 
England were present. There were six natives from 
India on the platform who, not understanding anything 
that was said, naturally remained listless throughout 
the proceedings. But the moment O'Connell began 
to speak they were all attention, bending forward 
and closely watching every movement. One could 
almost tell what he said from the play of his expressive 
features, his wonderful gestures, and the pose of his 
whole body. When he finished, the natives joined 
in the general applause. He had all Wendell Phillips's 
power of sarcasm and denunciation, and added to 
that the most tender pathos. He could make his 
audience laugh or cry at pleasure. It was a rare 
sight to see him dressed in "Repeal cloth " in one of his 
meetings. We were in Dublin in the midst of the 
excitement, when the hopes of new liberties for that 
oppressed people all centered on O'Connell. The 
enthusiasm for the Repeal of the Union was then at 
white heat. Dining one day with the "Great Libera- 
tor," as he was called, I asked him if he hoped to carry 
that measure. "No," he said, "but it is always good 
policy to claim the uttermost and then you will be 
sure to get something." 

88 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Could he have looked forward fifty years and have 
seen the present condition of his unhappy country, 
he would have known that greed and selfishness could 
defeat any policy, however wise and far-seeing. The 
successive steps by which Irish commerce was ruined, 
and religious feuds between her people continually 
fanned into life, and the nation subjugated, form the 
darkest page in the history of England. I trust the 
day is not far off when the beautiful Emerald Isle will 
unfurl her banner before the nations of the earth, 
enthroned as the Queen Republic of those northern 

We visited Wordsworth's home at Grasmere, among 
the beautiful lakes, but he was not there. However, 
we saw his surroundings — the landscape that inspired 
some of his poetic dreams, and the dense row of holly- 
hocks of every shade and color, leading from his porch 
to the gate. The wonderful combination of colors 
was indeed striking and beautiful. We saw Harriet 
Martineau at her country home, as well as at her house 
in town. As we were obliged to converse with her 
through an ear trumpet, we left her to do most of the 
talking. She gave us many amusing experiences of 
her travels in America, and her comments on the 
London Convention were rich and racy. She was 
not an attractive woman in either manner or appear- 
ance, though considered great and good by all who 
knew her. 

We spent a few days with Thomas Clarkson, in 
Ipswich. He lived in a very old house with long 
rambling corridors, surrounded by a moat, which we 
crossed by means of a drawbridge. He had just 

Our Wedding Journey 89 

written an article against the colonization scheme, 
which his wife read aloud to us. He was so absorbed 
in the subject that he forgot the article was written 
by himself, and kept up a running applause with 
"Hear! hear!" the English mode of expressing appro- 
bation. He told us of the severe struggles he and 
Wilberforce had gone through in rousing the public 
sentiment of England to the demand for emancipation 
in Jamaica. But their trials were mild, compared 
with what Garrison and his coadjutors had suffered in 

Having read of all these people, it was difficult to 
realize, as I visited them in their own homes from day 
to day, that they were the same persons I had so long 
worshiped from afar! 

Chapter VI: Homeward Bound 

A FTER taking a view of the wonders and sur- 
£*\ roundings of London we spent a month in 
-A- *» Paris. Fifty years ago there was a greater 
difference in the general appearance of things between 
France and England than now. That countries only 
a few hours' journey apart should differ so widely 
was to us a great surprise. How changed the sights 
and sounds! Here is the old diligence, lumbering 
along with its various compartments and its indefinite 
number of horses, harnessed with rope and leather, 
sometimes two, sometimes three abreast, and some- 
times one in advance, with an outrider belaboring the 
poor beasts without cessation, and the driver yelling 
and cracking his whip. The uproar, confusion, and 
squabbles at every stopping place are overwhelming; 
the upper classes, men and women alike, rushing into 
each other's arms, embrace and kiss, while drivers 
and hostlers on the slightest provocation hurl at each 
other all the denunciatory adjectives in the language, 
and with such vehemence that you expect every mo- 
ment to see a deadly conflict. Such an encounter be- 
tween two Englishmen would mean the death of one 
or the other. 

All this was in marked contrast with John Bull and 
his island. There the people were as silent as if they 

Homeward Bound 91 

had been born deaf and dumb. The English stage- 
coach was compact, clean, and polished from top to 
bottom, the horses and harness glossy and in order, the 
well-dressed, dignified coachman, who seldom spoke a 
loud word or used his whip, kept his seat at the various 
stages, while hostlers watered or changed the steeds; 
the postman blew his bugle blast to have the mail in 
readiness, and the reserved passengers made no remarks 
on what was passing; for, in those days, Englishmen 
were afraid to speak to each other for fear of recogniz- 
ing one not of their class, while to strangers and for- 
eigners they would not speak except in case of dire 
necessity. However, they are not so much afraid of 
outside barbarians now since steamers, railroads, and 
ocean cables have brought the nations of the earth 
closer together. 

There was one point in crossing the channel that 
proved the kinship of all nations — they were alike in 
their outward manifestation of seasickness, alike for 
the time being, losing all earthly ambition, their 
hopes of heaven and fears of hell, and presenting the 
same lackadaisical appearance, while calling forth no 
emotions of pity or tenderness from the casual observer 
who might have chanced to escape the epidemic. 
That is one of the peculiar conditions of this afflic- 
tion. The more fortunate mock at their calamity, and 
laugh when their fear cometh. As I was never under 
any circumstances obliged to succumb — either on this 
voyage or on my several subsequent ones — to said 
humiliating conditions, I have always thought that 
people in good health, of abstemious habits, who 
would face a stiff breeze on deck most of the time, 

1.— 7 

92 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

with a due exercise of will power, could escape alto- 
gether. But as most people are invalids, and accept 
disease as part of the eternal plan, believing that 
"the good Father loveth whom he chasteneth, ,, they 
accept what comes with pious resignation. My own 
view of seasickness is that if we fall a victim to it 
this is due to some shortcoming in our constitution, 
to some fault of parents or of ourselves, to some vio- 
lation of natural laws; in a word, if our bodies and 
minds were as they should be, we would not be sea- 
sick. It is a well-known fact that babies and old 
people are never seasick. Now, babies are not old 
enough to have violated nature's laws, and old people 
have grown too wise to do so, while sprinkled along 
between these two categories are a few chosen ones 
who are the pure in spirit and body, I suppose, who 
also escape. I must acknowledge that here men appear 
to be our superiors, since for one man or boy who gives 
in, ten women and girls surrender. But perhaps 
when woman is the absolute equal of man in every- 
thing this disability of our sex will disappear too. I 
have always felt, especially in a choppy sea, that one 
of my claims as a woman's rights leader is based on 
immunity to seasickness. 

When we reached Paris we secured a courier to show 
us the sights of that wonderful city. Every morning 
early he was at the door, rain or shine, to carry out 
our plans, which, with the aid of our guidebook, we 
had made the evening before. In this way we visited 
all points of interest for miles round the city, and 
sailed up and down the Seine. The Palace of the 
Tuileries, with its many associations with a long line 

Homeward Bound 93 

of more or less unhappy kings and queens, was then 
in its glory, and its extensive and beautiful grounds 
were always gay with crowds of happy people. These 
gardens were a great resort for nurses and children, 
and were furnished with all manner of novel appli- 
ances for their amusement, including beautiful little 
carriages drawn by goats, with girls or boys driving, 
boats sailing in the air, seemingly propelled by oars, 
and hobby-horses flying round on whirligigs, with boys 
vainly trying to catch each other. No people have 
ever taken the trouble to invent so many amusements 
for children as have the French. The people enjoyed 
being always in the open air, night and day. The 
parks are crowded with amusement seekers, some 
reading and playing games, some sewing, knitting, 
playing on musical instruments, dancing, sitting around 
tables in bevies eating, drinking, and gayly chatting. 
And yet, when they drive in carriages or go to their 
homes at night, they will shut themselves in as tight 
as oysters in their shells. They have a theory that 
night air is very injurious, in the house — although they 
will sit outside until midnight. 

We visited the Hotel des Invalides just as they were 
preparing the sarcophagus for the reception of the 
remains of Napoleon. We witnessed the wild excite- 
ment of that enthusiastic people, and listened with 
deep interest to the old soldiers' praise of their great 
general. The ladies of our party chatted freely with 
them. They all had interesting anecdotes to relate 
of their chief. They said he seldom slept more than 
four hours, was an abstemious eater, and rarely changed 
a servant, as he hated a strange face about him. He 

94 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

was very fond of the game of chess, and snuffed con- 
tinuously; talked but little, was a light sleeper — the 
stirring of a mouse would awaken him — and always 
on the watchtower. They said that, in his great 
campaigns, he seemed to be omnipresent. A sentinel 
asleep at his post would sometimes waken to find 
Napoleon on duty in his place. 

At that time each soldier had in the grounds of the 
Invalides a little patch to decorate as he pleased, in 
which many scenes from their great battles were illus- 
trated. One represented Napoleon crossing the Alps. 
There were the cannon, the soldiers, Napoleon on 
horseback, all toiling up the steep ascent, perfect in 
miniature. In another was Napoleon, flag in hand, 
leading the charge across the bridge of Lodi. In still 
another was Napoleon in Egypt, before the Pyramids, 
seated impassive, on his horse, gazing at the Sphinx, 
as if about to utter his immortal words to his soldiers: 
"Here, forty centuries look down upon us!" These 
object lessons of the past are all gone now, and the 
land used for more prosaic purposes. The ship that 
brought back Napoleon's remains was the Belle Poule, 
which landed at Cherbourg, November 30, 1840. 
The body was conveyed to the Church of the Invalides, 
which adjoins the tomb. The Prince de Joinville 
brought the body from Saint Helena, and Louis Philippe 
received it. 

Several members of the Society of Friends from 
Boston and Philadelphia, who attended the World's 
Antislavery Convention in London, joined our party 
for a trip on the Continent. Though opposed to war, 
they all took a deep interest in the national excitement, 

Homeward Bound 95 

and in the pageants that heralded the expected arrival 
of the hero from Saint Helena. As they all wore 
military coats of the time of George Fox, the soldiers, 
supposing they belonged to the army of some country, 
gave them the military salute wherever we went, 
much to their annoyance and our amusement. On 
several occasions we chanced to meet Louis Philippe 
dashing by in an open barouche. We felt great satis- 
faction in remembering that at one time he was an 
exile in our country, where he earned his living by 
teaching school. What an honor for Yankee children 
to have been taught by a French king the rudiments 
of his language! 

Having been accustomed to the Puritan Sunday of 
restraint and solemnity, I found that day in Paris gay 
and charming. The first time I entered into some of 
the festivities, I really expected to be struck by light- 
ning. The libraries, art galleries, concert halls, and 
theaters were all open to the people. Bands of music 
w r ere playing in the parks, where whole families, with 
their luncheons, spent the day — husbands, wives, and 
children, on an excursion together. The boats on the 
Seine and public conveyances were crowded. Those 
who had but this one day for pleasure seemed deter- 
mined to make the most of it — a wonderful contrast 
with that gloomy day in London, where all places of 
amusement were closed, and nothing open to the people 
but the churches and drinking saloons. 

After a few weeks in France we returned to London, 
traveling through England, Ireland, and Scotland for 
several months. We visited the scenes that Shake- 
speare, Burns, and Dickens had made classic. We 

g6 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

spent a few days at Huntington, the home of Oliver 
Cromwell, and visited the estate where he passed his 
early married life. While there, one of his great 
admirers read aloud to us an article in one of the 
reviews, written by Carlyle, giving "The Protector," 
as he said, "his true place in history." It was long 
the fashion of England's historians to represent Crom- 
well as a fanatic and hypocrite, but his character was 
vindicated by later writers. As Macaulay says, 
"Never was a ruler so conspicuously born for sov- 
ereignty. The cup which has intoxicated almost all 
others sobered him." 

We saw the picturesque ruins of Kenilworth Castle, 
the birthplace of Shakespeare, the homes of Byron 
and Mary Chaworth, wandered through Newstead 
Abbey, saw the monument to the faithful dog, and 
the large dining-room where Byron and his boon com- 
panions used to shoot at a mark. We stopped a day 
or two at Ayr, and drove out to the birthplace of Burns. 
The dreary old house that had sheltered him was still 
there, but its walls now echoed to other voices, and 
the fields where he had toiled were plowed by other 
hands. We saw the stream and banks where he and 
Mary sat together, the old stone church where the 
witches held their midnight revels, and the bridge of 
Ayr. With Burns, as with Sappho, it was love that 
awoke his heart to song. A bonny lass who worked 
with him in the harvest field inspired his first attempts 
at rhyme. Life, with Burns, was one long, hard strug- 
gle. With his natural love for the beautiful, the ter- 
rible depression of spirits he suffered from his dreary 
surroundings was inevitable. The interest great men 

Homeward Bound 97 

took in him when they awoke to his genius came too 
late for his safety and encouragement. 

We saw Melrose by moonlight, spent several hours 
at Abbotsford, and lingered in the little sanctum 
sanctorum where Scott wrote his immortal works. 
It was so small that he could reach the bookshelves 
on every side. We went through the prisons, castles, 
and narrow streets of Edinburgh, where the houses 
are seven and eight stories high, each story projecting 
a few feet until, at the uppermost, opposite neighbors 
could easily shake hands and chat together. All the 
intervals in active sight-seeing we spent in reading 
the lives of historical personages in poetry and prose, 
until our sympathies flowed out to the real and ideal 
characters. Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, Mary 
Queen of Scots, Ellen Douglas, Jeanie and EfHe Deans, 
Highland Mary, Rebecca the Jewess, Di Vernon, and 
Rob Roy, all alike seemed real men and women, whose 
shades we hoped to meet on their native heath. 

Here among the Scotch lakes and mountains Mr. 
Stanton and I were traveling alone for the first time 
since our marriage, and, as we both enjoyed walking, 
we made many excursions on foot to points that could 
not be reached in any other way. We spent some 
time among the Grampian Hills, walking, and riding 
about on donkeys. We sailed up and down Loch 
Katrine and Loch Lomond. My husband was writing 
letters for some New York newspapers on the entire 
trip, and aimed to get exact knowledge of all we saw. 
Thus I had the advantage of the information he gath- 
ered. On these long tramps I wore a short dress, 
reaching just below the knee, and a pair of high boots, 

98 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

made on the masculine pattern then generally worn — 
the most easy style for walking, as the pressure is equal 
on the whole foot, and the ankle has free play. Thus 
equipped, and early trained by my good brother-in-law 
to long walks, I found no difficulty in keeping pace 
with my husband. 

Being self-reliant and venturesome in our explora- 
tions, we occasionally found ourselves involved in grave 
difficulties by refusing to take a guide. For instance, 
we decided to go to the top of Ben Nevis alone. It 
looked to us a straightforward piece of business to 
walk up a mountainside on a bee line, and so, in the 
face of repeated warnings by our host, we started. 
We knew nothing of zigzag paths to avoid the rocks, 
the springs and swamps. The landlord shook his 
head and smiled when we told him we should return 
at noon to dinner, and we smiled too, thinking he 
placed a low estimate on our capacity for walking. 
But we had not gone far when we discovered the diffi- 
culties. By the time we were halfway up we were in 
a dripping perspiration, our feet were soaking wet, 
and we were really too tired to proceed. But, after 
starting with such supreme confidence in ourselves, 
we were ashamed to confess our fatigue to each other, 
and much more to return and verify all the prognosti- 
cations of the host and his guides. So we determined 
to push on and do what we had proposed. With the 
prospect of a magnificent view and an hour's delicious 
rest at the summit, we started with renewed courage. 
A steady climb of six hours brought us to the goal of 
promise; our ascent was accomplished. But, alas! it 
was impossible to stop there — the cold wind chilled 

Homeward Bound 99 

us to the bone. So we took one glance at the world 
below and hurried down the south side, to get the moun- 
tain between us and the northeaster. Like the king 
of France with twice ten thousand men, we marched 
up the hill and then marched down again. 

We found descending still more difficult, as we were 
in constant fear of slipping, losing our hold, and rolling 
to the bottom. We were tired, hungry, and disap- 
pointed, and the fear of not reaching the valley before 
nightfall pressed heavily upon us. Neither confessed 
to the other the fatigue and apprehension each felt, 
but, with fresh endeavor and words of encouragement 
we cautiously went on. We accidentally struck a 
trail that led us winding down comfortably some 
distance, but we lost it, and went clambering down 
as well as we could in our usual way. To add to our 
misery, a dense Scotch mist soon enveloped us, so that 
we could see but a short distance ahead, and not 
knowing the point from which we started, we feared 
we might be going far out of our way. The coming 
twilight, too, made the prospect still darker. Fortu- 
nately, our host, having less faith in us than we had 
in ourselves, sent a guide to reconnoiter, and, just at 
the moment when we began to realize our danger of 
spending the night on the mountain, and to admit it to 
each other, the welcome guide hailed us in his broad 
Scotch accent. We had been twelve hours on foot, 
with nothing to eat, when at last we reached the hotel. 
We were in no mood for boasting of the success of our 
excursion, and our answers were short to inquiries as 
to how we had passed the day. 

We did not recover from the fatigue of the expedition 

ioo Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in several days, and we made no more experiments of 
exploring strange places without guides. We learned, 
too, that mountains are not so hospitable as they 
seem, nor so gently undulating as they appear in the 
distance, and that guides serve other purposes besides 
extorting money from travelers. If, under their 
guidance, we had gone up and down easily, we should 
always have thought we might as well have gone alone. 
So our experience gave us a good lesson in humility. 

Being tired of traveling and contending about 
woman's sphere with the Rev. John Scoble, an English- 
man, who escorted Mr. Birney and Mr. Stanton on 
their tour through the country, I decided to spend a 
month in Dublin, while the gentlemen held meetings 
in Cork, Belfast, Waterford, Limerick, and other 
towns, finishing the series with a large, enthusiastic 
gathering in Dublin, at which O'Connell made one of 
his most withering speeches on American slavery, the 
inconsistency of such an "institution" with the prin- 
ciples of a republican government, giving full play to 
his powers of sarcasm. 

In Dublin I stayed a few days at the home of Richard 
Webb, 1 the head of a charming Quaker family, and 
with James Houghton, a widower, with five charming 
daughters. It was a merry, happy household, where 

1 In a letter of later date Miss Sarah Pugh wrote to Mrs. Stanton: 
"In a most characteristic letter from Dublin there is honorable mention 
made of you. Hannah Webb says: 'Elizabeth Stanton, with whom we 
were highly delighted, is a brave upholder of woman's rights.' And her 
husband says of thee: 'She is better than a whole third of that portion of 
the Pledged Philanthropy which assembled in Freemason's Hall.' Is not 
that a compliment for thee? We look for Whittier here this month to 
escape east winds. Did you see his 'Lines to a Friend from Europe'? Lizzie, 
we suppose." 

Homeward Bound 101 

all seemed to bask in an atmosphere of freedom, and 
well illustrated a favorite idea of mine, that it is easier 
to bring up a family of girls than of boys, a subject 
on which I can speak with some authority, because in 
my father's family we were practically all girls, while 
in my own family the children were nearly all boys. 
Mr. Houghton's chief delight on returning from busi- 
ness was to have a good romp with his bright little 
daughters. "When I go forth in the morning," he 
said to me, "they load me with commissions, and on 
coming back each one flies at me to see if her command 
has been obeyed. I suppose you have often seen 
and heard of hen-pecked men, but in me you see a 
thoroughly chicken-pecked one, and a very trying 
regime it is to live under, for the chickens are too 
tender and young to be repelled, and I am supposed 
to be too old to complain.'' 

The poverty in Ireland was a continual trial to our 
sensibilities; beggars haunted our footsteps everywhere, 
in the streets and on the highways, crouching on the 
steps of the front door and on the curbstones, and 
surrounding our carriage wherever and whenever we 
stopped to shop or to make a visit. The bony hands 
and sunken eyes and sincere gratitude expressed for 
every penny proved their suffering real. As my 
means were limited, and I could not pass one by, I 
got a pound changed into pennies, and put them in a 
green bag, which I took in the carriage wherever I 
went. It was but a drop in the ocean, but it was all 
I could do to relieve that unfathomed misery. The 
poverty I saw everywhere in the Old World, and 
especially in Ireland, was a puzzling problem to my 

102 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

mind, but I rejected the idea that it was a necessary 
link in human experience — that it always had been, 
and always must be. 

As we drove, day by day, in that magnificent Phoenix 
Park, of fifteen hundred acres, one of the largest parks, 
I believe, in the world, I would often put the question 
to myself, What right have the few to make a pleasure- 
ground of these acres, while the many have nowhere 
to lay their heads, crouching under stiles and bridges, 
clothed in rags, and feeding on seaweed, with no hope, 
in the slowly passing years, of any change for the 
better? The despair stamped on every brow told 
the sad story of wrong. Those accustomed to such 
everyday experiences brush beggars aside as they 
would so many flies, but those to whom such sights 
are new cannot so easily quiet their own consciences. 
Everyone in the full enjoyment of all the blessings of 
life feels some individual responsibility for the poverty 
of others. When the sympathies are not blunted by 
any false philosophy, one feels reproached by one's 
own abundance. 

More than half a century has rolled by since I stood 
on Irish soil, and shed tears of pity for the wretchedness 
I saw, and no change for the better has as yet come to 
that unhappy people — yet this was the land of Burke, 
Grattan, Shiel, and Emmet; the land into which 
Christianity was introduced in the fifth century. In 
the sixth century Ireland sent forth missionaries from 
her monasteries to convert Great Britain and the 
nations of northern Europe. From the eighth to the 
twelfth century Irish scholars held an enviable reputa- 
tion. In fact, Ireland was the center of learning at 

Homeward Bound 103 

one time. The arts, too, were cultivated by her 
people; and the round towers, still pointed out to 
travelers, are believed to be the remains of the archi- 
tecture of the tenth century. The ruin of Ireland 
must be traced to other causes than the character of 
the people or the Catholic religion. Historians give 
us facts showing English oppressions sufficient to 
destroy any nation. 

The short, dark days of November intensified, in 
my eyes, the gloomy prospect of that people, and made 
the change to the Sirius of the Cunard Line, the first 
regular Atlantic steamship to cross the ocean, most 
enjoyable. Once on the boundless ocean, one sees 
no beggars, no signs of human misery, no crumbling 
ruins of vast cathedral walls, no records of the down- 
fall of mighty nations, no trace, even, of the mortal 
agony of the innumerable host buried beneath her 
bosom. Byron truly says: 

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow — 
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now. 

When we embarked on the Sirius we had grave 
doubts as to our safety and the probability of our 
reaching the other side, as we did not feel that ocean 
steamers had yet been fairly tried. But, after a pas- 
sage of eighteen days, eleven hours, and fifteen minutes, 
we reached Boston. We little thought that the steamer 
Sirius of fifty years ago would ever develop into the 
magnificent palaces of to-day — three times as large, 
and three times as swift. In spite of the steamer, 
however, we had a ccld, rough, dreary voyage, and I 
have no pleasant memories connected with it. Our 

104 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

fellow passengers were all in their staterooms most of 
the time. Our good friend Mr. Birney had sailed 
two weeks before us, and as Mr. Stanton was confined 
to his berth, I was thrown on my own resources. I 
found my chief amusement in reading novels and play- 
ing chess with a British officer on his way to Canada. 
When it was possible I walked on deck with the captain, 
or sat in some sheltered corner watching the waves. 
We arrived in New York, by rail, the day before 
Christmas. Everything looked bright and gay in our 
streets. It seemed to me that the sky was clearer, the 
air more refreshing, and the sunlight more brilliant 
than in any other land! 

Chapter VII: Motherhood 

ON our return from Europe we found my sis- 
ter Harriet in a new home in Clinton Place, 
New York City, then considered so far up 
town that Mr. Eaton's friends were continually asking 
him why he went so far away from the social center, 
though in a few months they followed him. Here 
we passed a week. I especially enjoyed seeing again 
my little niece and nephew, 1 the only grandchildren 
in the family. The girl was the most beautiful child I 
ever saw, and the boy the most intelligent and amusing. 
He was very fond of hearing me recite the poem by 
Oliver Wendell Holmes entitled "The Height of the 
Ridiculous," which I did many times, but he always 
wanted to see the lines that "almost killed the man 
with laughing/' He went around to a number of the 
bookstores one day and inquired for the poem. I 
told him they were never published; that probably 
when Mr. Holmes saw the effect on his servant he 
suppressed them, lest they should produce the same 
effect on the typesetters, editors, and the readers of 
the Boston newspapers. My explanation never satis- 
fied him. I told him he might write to Mr. Holmes 
and ask the privilege of reading the original manu- 

1 Harriet and Cady Eaton, later Mrs. George Brown of Baltimore, and 
Prof. D. Cady Eaton of Yale University. 

106 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

script, if it still was or ever had been in existence. As 
one of my grandnephews was troubled in exactly the 
same way, I decided to appeal myself to Doctor Holmes 
for the enlightenment of this second generation. So 
I wrote him the following letter, which he kindly 
answered, telling us that his "wretched man" was a 
myth, like the heroes in " Mother Goose's Melodies." 

Dear Mr. Holmes, — I have a little nephew to whom I often 
recite "The Height of the Ridiculous," and he invariably asks for 
the lines that produced the fatal effect on your servant. He 
visited most of the bookstores in New York City to find them, 
and nothing but your own word, I am sure, will ever convince him 
that the "wretched man" is but a figment of your imagination. 
I tried to satisfy him by saying that you did not dare to publish 
the lines lest they should produce a similar effect on the type- 
setters, editors, and the readers of the Boston journals. 

However, he wishes me to ask you whether you kept a copy of 
the original manuscript, or could reproduce the lines with equal 
power. If not too much trouble, please send me a few lines on 
this point, and greatly oblige, 

Yours sincerely, 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

My Dear Mrs. Stanton, — I wish you would explain to your 
little nephew that the story of the poor fellow who almost died 
laughing was a kind of a dream of mine, and not a real thing that 
happened, any more than that an old woman "lived in a shoe and 
had so many children she didn't know what to do," or that Jack 
climbed the beanstalk and found the giant who lived at the top 
of it. You can explain to him what is meant by imagination, and 
thus turn my youthful rhymes into a text for a discourse worthy 
of the Concord School of Philosophy. I have not my poems by 
me here, but I remember that "The Height of the Ridiculous" 
ended with this verse: 

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye, 

I watched that wretched man, 
And since, I never dare to write 

As funny as I can. 

Motherhood 107 

But tell your nephew he mustn't cry about it any more than because 
geese go barefoot and bald eagles have no nightcaps. The verses 
are in all the editions of my poems. 
Believe me, dear Mrs. Stanton, 

Very truly and respectfully yours, 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

After spending the holidays in New York City, we 
started for Johnstown in a stage-sleigh, conveying the 
United States mail, drawn by spanking teams of four 
horses, up the Hudson River valley. We were three 
days going to Albany, stopping overnight at various 
points. The weather was clear and cold, the sleighing 
fine, the scenery magnificent, and our traveling com- 
panions most entertaining, so the trip was very enjoy- 
able. From Albany to Schenectady we went in the 
railway cars; then another sleigh ride of thirty miles 
brought us to Johnstown. My native hills, buried 
under two feet of snow, tinted with the last rays of 
the setting sun, were a beautiful and familiar sight. 
Though I had been absent but ten months, it seemed 
like years, and I was surprised to find how few changes 
had occurred during my absence. My father and 
mother, sisters Madge and Kate, the old house and 
furniture, the neighbors, all looked precisely the same 
as when I left them. I had seen so much and been so 
constantly on the wing that I wondered that all things 
here should have stood still. I expected to hear of 
many births, marriages, deaths, and social upheavals, 
but the village gossip was remarkably meager. This 
hunger for startling home news on returning is common, 
I suppose, to all travelers. 

My husband, after some consultation with my father, 

decided to enter his office and commence the study of 
1.— 8 

108 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

law. As this arrangement kept me under the parental 
roof, I had two added years of pleasure, walking, 
driving, and riding on horseback with my sisters. 
Madge and Kate were dearer to me than ever, as I 
saw the inevitable separation awaiting us in the near 
future. In due time they were married and com- 
menced housekeeping — Madge in her husband's house 
near by, and Kate in Buffalo. All my sisters were 
peculiarly fortunate in their marriages; their hus- 
bands being men of liberal education, high moral 
character, and marked ability. These were pleasant 
and profitable years. I devoted them to reading 
law, history, and political economy, with occasional 
interruptions to take part in some temperance or 
antislavery excitement. 

A friend and I had classes of colored children in the 
Sunday school. On one occasion, when there was to 
be a festival, with speaking in the church and a pro- 
cession through the streets, and other public per- 
formances for the Sunday school celebration, some 
narrow-minded bigots objected to the colored children 
taking part. We were approached with most per- 
suasive tones on the wisdom of not allowing our class 
to march in the procession to the church. We said: 
"Oh, no! It won't do to disappoint the children. 
They are all dressed, with their badges on, and looking 
forward with great pleasure to the festivities of the 
day. Besides, we cannot cater to any prejudices 
against color/' Like two defiant hens, we kept our 
little brood close behind us, determined to conquer or 
perish in the struggle. At last milder counsels pre- 
vailed, and it was agreed that our class might march 

Motherhood 109 

in the rear. We made no objection, and fell into line, 
but when we reached the church door it was promptly 
closed as the last white child entered. We tried two 
other doors, but all were guarded. We shed tears 
of vexation and pity for the poor children, and when 
they asked us the reason why they could not go in, 
we were embarrassed and mortified. However, I 
invited them to my father's house, where we gave them 
refreshments and entertained them for the rest of the 
day. As the chief actors in the outrage lived to be 
ashamed of the part they took, and now sleep in their 
graves, for the sake of their descendants, I suppress 
their names. I may add, however, that they were 
all church members in good standing, and would no 
doubt have told the little colored children that Christ 
died to save them, but his followers could not allow 
them to enter his Holy Temple. Such was American 
Christianity in 1842. 

The puzzling questions of theology and poverty that 
had occupied so much of my thoughts now gave place to 
the practical one, "What to do with a baby ?" Though 
motherhood is the most important of all the profes- 
sions — requiring more knowledge than any other 
department in human affairs — there was no attention 
given to preparation for this office. If we buy a plant 
of a horticulturist we ask him many questions as to 
its needs, whether it thrives best in sunshine or in 
shade, whether it needs much or little water, what 
degrees of heat or cold; but when we hold in our arms 
for the first time a being of infinite possibilities, in 
whose wisdom may rest the destiny of a nation, we 
take it for granted that the laws governing its life. 

no Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

health, and happiness are intuitively understood, that 
there is nothing new to be learned in regard to it. 
Here is a science to which philosophers have as yet 
given but little attention. An important fact has 
only been discovered and acted upon within the last 
ten years; that children come into the world tired, 
and not hungry, exhausted with the perilous journey. 
Instead of being kept on the rack while the nurse 
makes a prolonged toilet and feeds it some nostrum 
supposed to have much-needed medicinal influence, 
the child's face, eyes, and mouth should be carefully 
washed, and the rest of its body thoroughly oiled, and 
then it should be slipped into a soft pillow case, wrapped 
in a blanket, and laid to sleep. Ordinarily, in the 
proper conditions, with its face uncovered in a cool, 
pure atmosphere, it will sleep twelve hours. Then it 
should be bathed, fed, and clothed in a high-neck, 
long-sleeved silk shirt and a blanket. As babies lie 
still most of the time for the first six weeks, they need 
no elaborate dressing. I think the nurse was a full 
hour bathing and dressing my first-born, who pro- 
tested with a melancholy wail every blessed minute. 

Ignorant myself of the initiative steps on the thresh- 
old of time, I supposed this proceeding was approved 
by the best authorities. However, I had been thinking, 
reading, observing, and had as little faith in the popular 
theories in regard to babies as on any other subject. I 
saw them, on all sides, ill half the time, pale and peevish, 
dying early, having no joy in life. I heard parents 
complaining of weary days and sleepless nights, while 
each child in turn ran the gauntlet of red gum, whoop- 
ing cough, chicken pox, mumps, measles, and fits. 

Motherhood in 

Everyone seemed to think these inflictions were a 
part of the eternal plan — that Providence had a kind 
of Pandora's box, from which he scattered these ven- 
erable diseases most liberally among those whom he 
especially loved. Having gone through the ordeal 
of bearing a child, I was determined, if possible, to 
keep him, so I read everything I could find on babies. 
But the literature on this subject was as confusing and 
unsatisfactory as the longer and shorter catechism and 
the Thirty-nine Articles of our faith. I had recently 
visited our dear friends, Theodore and Angeline Grimke- 
Weld, and they warned me against books on this sub- 
ject. They had been so misled by one author, who 
assured them that the stomach of a child could only 
hold one tablespoonful, that they nearly starved their 
first-born to death. Though the child dwindled day 
by day, and, at the end of a month looked like a little 
old man, yet they still stood by the distinguished 
author. Fortunately, they both went off one day 
and left the child with "Sister Sarah," who thought 
she would make an experiment and see what a child's 
stomach could hold, as she had grave doubts about 
the tablespoonful theory. To her surprise the baby 
took a pint bottle full of milk, and had the sweetest 
sleep thereon he had known in his earthly career. 
After that he was permitted to take what he wanted, 
and "the author" was informed of his libel on the 
infantile stomach. 

So here again I was entirely afloat, launched on the 
seas of doubt without chart or compass. The life 
and well-being of the race seemed to hang on the 
slender thread of such traditions as were handed down 

H2 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

by ignorant mothers and nurses. One powerful ray 
of light illuminated the darkness; it was the work 
of Andrew Combe on Infancy, He had evidently 
watched some of the manifestations of man in the 
first stages of his development, and could tell at 
least as much of babies as naturalists could of beetles 
and bees. He did give young mothers some hints of 
what to do, and the whys and wherefores of certain 
lines of procedure. I read several chapters to the 
nurse. Although out of her ten children she had 
buried five, she still had too much confidence in her 
own wisdom and experience to pay much attention 
to any new idea that might be suggested to her. Among 
other things, Combe said that a child's bath should be 
regulated by the thermometer, in order to be always 
of the same temperature. She ridiculed the idea, and 
said her elbow was better than any thermometer, and, 
when I insisted on its use, she would invariably, with 
a smile of derision, put her elbow in first, to show 
how exactly it tallied with the thermometer. 

When I insisted that the child should not be band- 
aged, she rebelled outright, and said she would not 
take the responsibility of caring for a child without a 
bandage. I said: "Pray, sit down, dear nurse, and 
let us reason together. Do not think I am setting up 
m Y judgment against yours, with all your experience. 
I am simply trying to act on the opinions of a dis- 
tinguished physician, who says there should be no 
pressure on a child anywhere; that the limbs and 
body should be free; that it is cruel to bandage an 
infant from hip to armpit, as is usually done in America; 
or both body and legs, as is done in Europe; or strap 

Motherhood 113 

them to boards, as is done by savages on both conti- 
nents. Can you give me one good reason, nurse, why 
a child should be bandaged ?" "Yes," she said 
emphatically, "I can give you a dozen." "I only 
asked for one," I replied. "Well," said she, after 
much hesitation, "the bones of a newborn infant are 
soft, like cartilage, and, unless you pin them up snugly 
there is danger of their falling apart." "It seems to 
me," I replied, "you have given the strongest reason 
why they should be carefully guarded against the 
slightest pressure. It is very remarkable that kittens 
and puppies should be so well put together that they 
need no artificial bracing, and the human family be 
left wholly to the mercy of a bandage. Suppose a 
child was born where you could not get a bandage, 
what then? Now, I think this child will remain intact 
without a bandage, and, if 1 am willing to take the 
risk, why should you complain?" "Because," said 
she, "if the child should die, it would injure my name 
as a nurse. I therefore wash my hands of all these 
new-fangled notions." 

So she put a bandage on the child every morning, and 
I as regularly took it off. It has been fully proved 
since to be as useless an appendage as the vermiform. 
She had several cups with various concoctions of herbs 
standing in the chimney corner, ready for insomnia, 
colic, indigestion, etc., etc., all of which were spirited 
away when she was at her dinner. In vain I told her 
we were homeopathists, and afraid of everything in 
the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdoms lower than 
the two hundredth dilution. I tried to explain the 
Hahnemann system of therapeutics, the philosophy 

H4 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

of similia similibus curantur, but she had no ca- 
pacity for first principles, and did not understand 
my discourse. I told her that if she would wash the 
baby's mouth with pure cold water morning and night, 
and give it a teaspoonful to drink occasionally during 
the day, there would be no danger of red gum; that 
if she would keep the blinds open and let in the air 
and sunshine, keep the temperature of the room at 
sixty-five degrees, leave the child's head uncovered so 
that it could breathe freely, stop rocking and trotting 
it, and singing such melancholy hymns as "Hark, 
from the tombs a doleful sound!" the baby and I 
would both be able to weather the cape. I told her 
I should nurse the child once in two hours, and that 
she must not feed it any of her nostrums in the mean- 
time; that a child's stomach, being made on the same 
general plan as our own, needed intervals of rest as 
well as ours. She said it would be racked with colic 
if the stomach was empty any length of time, and 
that it would surely have rickets if it were kept too 
still. I told her if the child had no anodynes, nature 
would regulate its sleep. She said she could not stay 
in a room with the thermometer at sixty-five degrees, 
so I told her to sit in the next room and regulate the 
heat to suit herself; that I would ring a bell when her 
services were needed. 

The reader will wonder, no doubt, that I kept such 
a cantankerous servant. I could get no other. Dear 
"Mother Monroe," as wise as she was good, and as 
tender as she was strong, who had nursed two genera- 
tions of mothers in our village, was engaged at that 
time, and I was compelled to take an exotic. I had 

Motherhood 115 

often watched "Mother Monroe" with admiration, 
as she turned and twisted my sister Harriet's baby. 
It lay as peacefully in her hands as if they were lined 
with eiderdown. She bathed and dressed it by easy 
stages, turning the child over and over like a pancake. 
But she was so full of the magnetism of human love, 
giving the child, all the time, the most consoling 
assurance that the operation was to be a short one, 
that the whole proceeding was quite entertaining to 
the observer, and seemingly agreeable to the child, 
though it had a rather surprised look as it took a 
bird's-eye view, in quick succession, of the ceiling and 
the floor. Still my nurse had her good points. She 
was very pleasant, when she had her own way. She 
was neat and tidy, and ready to serve at any time, 
night or day. She did not wear false teeth that rattled 
when she talked, nor boots that squeaked when she 
walked. She did not snuff nor chew cloves, nor speak 
except when spoken to. Our discussions on various 
points went on at intervals, until I succeeded in plant- 
ing some ideas in her mind, and when she left me, at 
the end of six weeks, she confessed that she had learned 
some valuable lessons. As the baby had slept quietly 
most of the time, had no crying spells, nor colic, and I 
looked well, she naturally came to the conclusion that 
pure air, sunshine, proper dressing, and regular feeding 
were more necessary for babies than herbs and soothing 

Besides the obstinacy of the nurse, I had the ignor- 
ance of physicians to contend with. When the child 
was four days old we discovered that the collar bone 
was bent. The physician, wishing to get a pressure 

n6 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

on the shoulder, braced the bandage round the wrist. 
"Leave that," he said, "ten days, and then it will be 
all right/' Soon after he left I noticed that the child's 
hand was blue, showing that the circulation was 
impeded. "That will never do," said I; "nurse, 
take it off." "No, indeed," she answered, "I shall 
never interfere with the doctor." So I took it off 
myself, and sent for another doctor, who was said to 
know more of surgery. He expressed great surprise 
that the first physician called should have put on so 
severe a bandage. "That," said he, "would do for a 
grown man, but ten days of it on a child would make 
him a cripple." However, he did nearly the same 
thing, only fastening it round the hand instead of the 
wrist. I soon saw that the ends of the fingers were 
all purple, and that to leave that on ten days would 
be as dangerous as the first. So I took it off. 

"What a woman!" exclaimed the nurse. "What 
do you propose to do?" "Think out something better 
myself; so brace me up with some pillows and give 
the baby to me." She looked at me aghast. "Now," 
I said, talking partly to myself and partly to her, 
"what we want is a little pressure on that bone; that 
is what both of those men have aimed at. How can 
we get it without involving the arm, is the question?" 
"I am sure I don't know," said she, rubbing her hands 
and taking two or three brisk turns around the room. 
"Well, bring me three strips of linen, four double." 
I then folded one, wet in arnica and water, and laid it 
on the collar bone, put two other bands, like a pair of 
suspenders over the shoulders, crossing them both in 
front and behind, pinning the ends to the diaper, which 

Motherhood 117 

gave the needed pressure without impeding the circu- 
lation anywhere. As I finished she gave me a look 
of budding confidence, and seemed satisfied that all 
was well. Several times, night and day, we wet the 
compress and readjusted the bands, until all appearance 
of inflammation had subsided. 

At the end of ten days the two sons of iEsculapius 
appeared and made their examination, and said all 
was right, whereupon I told them how badly their 
bandages worked, and what I had done myself. They 
smiled at each other, and one said, "Well, after all, a 
mother's instinct is better than a man's reason." 
"Thank you, gentlemen, there was no instinct about 
it. I did some hard thinking before I saw how I 
could get pressure on the shoulder without impeding 
the circulation, as you did/' 1 Thus, in the supreme 
moment of a young mother's life, when I needed tender 
care and support, the whole responsibility of my child's 
supervision fell upon me; but though uncertain at 
every step of my own knowledge, I learned another 
lesson in self-reliance. I trusted neither men nor 
books absolutely after this, either in regard to the 
heavens above or the earth beneath, but continued 
to use my "mother's instinct," if "reason" is too 
dignified a term to apply to a woman's thoughts. My 
advice to every mother is, above all other arts and 
sciences, study first what relates to babyhood, as 
there is no department of human action in which there 
is such lamentable ignorance. 

At the end of six weeks my nurse departed, and I 

1 Letter confirmatory of this incident from Mrs. Stanton to her husband, 
March 26, 1842. 

n8 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

had a good woman in her place who obeyed my orders. 
And now a new difficulty arose from an unexpected 
quarter. My father and husband took it into their 
heads that the child slept too much. If not awake 
when they wished to look at him, or to show him to 
their friends, they would pull him out of his crib on all 
occasions. When I found neither of them was amen- 
able to reason on this point, I locked the door, and no 
amount of eloquent pleading ever gained them admit- 
tance during the time I considered sacred to baby's 
slumbers. At six months, having, as yet, had none 
of the diseases supposed to be inevitable, the boy 
weighed thirty pounds. Then the stately Peter came 
again into requisition, and in his strong arms the child 
spent many of his waking hours. Peter, with a long 
elephantine gait, slowly wandered over the town, 
lingering especially in the busy marts of trade. 
Peter's curiosity had strengthened with years, and 
wherever a crowd gathered round a monkey and hand 
organ, a vendor's wagon, an auction stand, or the 
post office at mail time, there stood Peter, black as a 
coal, with "the beautiful boy in white," the most 
conspicuous figure in the crowd. As I told Peter 
never to let anyone approach the baby, for fear of some 
disease, he kept him well aloft, allowing no affectionate 
manifestations except toward himself. 

I am quite pleased to find that my ideas on kissing 
babies are fully endorsed by no less an authority than 
the President of the United States. A friend in Port- 
land, Maine, writes to me that General Harrison, when 
invited one day to kiss a baby of that town, quickly 
refrained from doing so. He certainly had the courage 

Motherhood 119 

of his convictions, for most Presidents, especially if 
they were standing for re-election, would have suc- 
cumbed. The New York Tribune says in this con- 
nection that kissing babies is good politics. It pleases 
the proud father, and wins the sympathy of the crowd 
who witness the paternal act. " Perhaps he thinks 
babies should not be indiscriminately kissed/' says 
the editor; "if so, he has taught a good lesson. The 
parent who always expects the baby to be kissed, and 
the person who feels bound to kiss every baby that 
comes within reach, are equally foolish and obnoxious 
characters. Children have a right to their kisses as 
well as older folks. They should not be made the 
prey of every officiously amiable person in their circle. 
In short, the practice of kissing children at sight is a 
nuisance, and ought to be abated. But there is a 
more serious view still to be taken of it, as the germs 
of disease may often be conveyed in this way." Amen! 
If Horace Greeley were still alive I would say he wrote 
this leaderette, and I would go further and say that 
he got the idea from his dear wife; for these were her 
views, and I have a right to claim that perhaps — I say 
perhaps — it was I who put them into her head, or at 
least helped to keep them there. 

My reading when my first baby was born centered 
on hygiene. I came to the conclusion, after much 
thought and observation, that children never cried 
unless they were uncomfortable. A professor at 
Union College, who used to combat many of my 
theories, said he gave one of his children a sound 
spanking at six weeks, and it never disturbed him at 
night afterward. Another Solomon told me that a 

120 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

very weak preparation of opium would keep a child 
always quiet, and take it through the dangerous period 
of teething without a ripple on the surface of domestic 
life. As children cannot tell what ails them, and 
suffer from many things of which parents are ignorant, 
the crying of the child should arouse them to an intelli- 
gent examination. To spank it for crying is to silence 
the watchman on the tower through fear; to give sooth- 
ing syrup is to drug the watchman while the evils go on. 
Parents may thereby insure eight hours' sleep at the 
time, but the risk of greater trouble in the future with 
sick children. 

Tom Moore tells us "the heart from love to one, 
grows bountiful to all.** I know the care of one child 
made me thoughtful of all. I never hear a child cry 
now that I do not feel that I am bound to find out the 

In my extensive travels on lecturing tours, in after 
years, I had many varied experiences with babies. 
One day, in the cars, a child was crying near me, while 
the parents were alternately shaking and slapping it. 
First one would take it with an emphatic jerk, and 
then the other. At last I heard the father say in a 
spiteful tone, "If you don't stop, I'll throw you out of 
the window." One naturally hesitates about inter- 
fering between parents and children, so 1 generally 
restrain myself as long as I can endure the torture of 
witnessing such outrages, but at length I turned and 
said: "Let me take your child and see if I can find 
out what ails it." "Nothing ails it," said the father, 
"but bad temper." The child readily came to me. 
I felt around to see if its clothes pinched anywhere, 

Motherhood 121 

or if there were any pins pricking. I took off its hat 
and cloak to see if there were any strings cutting its 
neck or choking it. Then I glanced at the feet, and 
lo! there was the trouble. The boots were at least 
one size too small. I took them off, and the stockings, 
too, and found the feet as cold as ice, and the prints of 
the stockings clearly traced on the tender flesh. We 
all know the agony of tight boots. I rubbed the feet 
and held them in my hands until they were warm, 
when the poor little thing fell asleep. I said to the 
parents: "You are young people, I see, and this is 
probably your first child. You don't intend to be 
cruel, I know, but if you had thrown those boots out 
of the window, when you threatened to throw the child, 
it would have been wiser. This poor child has suffered 
ever since it was dressed this morning. ,, I showed 
them the marks on the feet, and called their attention 
to the fact that the child fell asleep as soon as its pain 
was relieved. The mother said she knew the boots 
were tight, as it was with difficulty she could get them 
on, but the old ones were too shabby for the journey. 
u Well,'' said the husband, "if I had known those 
boots were tight I would have thrown them out of the 

"Now," said I, "let me give you one rule: when 
your child cries, remember it is telling you, as well as 
it can, that something hurts it, either outside or in, 
and do not rest until you find out what it is. Neither 
spanking, shaking, nor scolding can relieve the pain." 

I have seen women enter the cars with their babies' 
faces completely covered with a blanket shawl. I 
have often thought I would like to cover their faces 

122 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

for an hour and see how they would bear it. In such 
circumstances, in order to get the blanket open, I 
have asked to see the baby, and generally found it 
as red as a beet. Ignorant nurses and mothers have 
discovered that children sleep longer with their heads 
covered. They don't know why, nor the injurious 
effect of breathing over and over the same air that 
has been thrown off the lungs polluted with carbonic 
acid gas. This stupefies the child and prolongs the 
unhealthy slumber. 

On a hot day, in the month of May, I once entered 
a crowded car at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and took the 
only empty seat beside a gentleman who seemed very 
nervous about a crying child. I was scarcely seated 
when he said, "Mother, do you know anything about 
babies ?" "Oh, yes!" I said, smiling, "that is a depart- 
ment of knowledge on which I especially pride myself." 
"Well," said he, "there is a child that has cried most 
of the time for the last twenty-four hours. What do 
you think ails it?" 

Making a random supposition, I replied, "It prob- 
ably needs a bath." He promptly rejoined, "If you 
will give it one I will provide the necessary means." 
I said, "I will first see if the child will come to me, and 
if the mother is willing." I found the mother only 
too glad to have a few minutes rest, and the child too 
tired to care who took it. She gave me a suit of clean 
clothes throughout, the gentleman spread his blanket 
shawl on the seat, securing the opposite one for me and 
the bathing appliances. Then he produced a cup, a 
towel, sponge, and an India-rubber bowl full of water, 
and I gave the child a generous drink and a thorough 

Motherhood 123 

ablution. It stretched and seemed to enjoy every 

step of the proceeding, and, while I was brushing its 

golden curls as gently as I could, it fell asleep; so I 

covered it with the towel and blanket shawl, not 

willing to disturb it for dressing. The poor mother, 

too, was sound asleep, and the gentleman very happy. 

He had children of his own, and, like me, felt great pity 

for the poor, helpless little victim of ignorance and 

folly. I engaged one of the ladies to dress it when it 

awoke, as I was soon to leave the train. It slept the 

two hours I remained — how much longer I never heard. 

A young man who had witnessed the proceeding, got 

off at the same station and accosted me, saying: "I 

should be very thankful if you would come and see 

my baby. It is only one month old and cries all the 

time, and my wife, who is only sixteen, is worn out 

with it and neither of us knows what to do, so we 

all cry together, and the doctor says he does not 

see what ails it." I went on my mission of mercy, 

and found the child bandaged as tight as a drum. 

When I took out the pins and unrolled it, it fairly 

popped like the cork out of a champagne bottle. I 

rubbed its breast and its back, and soon soothed it to 

sleep. I remained a long time, telling them how to 

take care of the child, and the mother too. I told 

them everything I could think of in regard to clothes, 

diet, and pure air. I asked the mother why she 

bandaged her child as she did. She said her nurse 

told her that there was danger of hernia unless the 

abdomen was well bandaged. I told her that the only 

object of a bandage was to protect the navel, for a few 

days after birth, until it was healed. I remembered, 
1.— 9 

124 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

next day, that I forgot to tell them to give the child 
water, and so I telegraphed them, "Give the baby 
water six times a day/' I heard of that baby after- 
ward. It lived and flourished, and the parents knew 
how to administer to its wants. The father was a 
telegraph operator, and had many friends — knights 
of the key — throughout Iowa. For many years after- 
ward, he told me, in leisure moments these knights 
would "call up" and say over the wire, "Give the 
baby water six times a day." I consoled him for the 
teasing by pointing out that thus did they "repeat the 
story, and spread the truth from pole to pole." 

Chapter VIII: Boston and Chelsea 

IN the autumn of 1843 my husband was admitted 
to the bar, and commenced the practice of law 
in Boston with Mr. Bowles, brother-in-law of 
the late Gen. John A. Dix. This gave me the oppor- 
tunity to make many pleasant acquaintances among 
the many noble men and women reformers whom I 
had long worshiped at a distance. Here, for the first 
time, I met Lydia Maria Child, Elizabeth Peabody, 
Maria Chapman, Oliver Johnson, and Joseph and 
Thankful Southwick. The home of the Southwicks 
was always a harbor where the antislavery hosts were 
wont to cast anchor, and where one was always sure 
to meet some one worth knowing. Their hospitality 
was generous to an extreme, and so boundless that 
they were, at last, fairly eaten out of house and home. 
Here, too, for the first time, 1 met Theodore Parker, 
John Pierpont, 1 John G. Whittier, 2 Emerson, Alcott, 
Lowell, Hawthorne, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Sewall, 
Sidney Howard Gay, Parker Pillsbury, Stephen Foster, 
and last, though not least, those noble men, Charles 
Hovey and Francis Jackson, the only men who ever 
left any money to the cause of woman suffrage. 

1 Letters to, September 2, 1847; September 10, 1849. 

2 Letters to, July 11, 1840; October 10, November 28, 1843; April 11, 
j 846. 

126 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

I was a frequent visitor at the home of William 
Lloyd Garrison. Though he had a prolonged battle to 
fight in the rough outside world, his home was always 
a haven of rest. Mrs. Garrison was a sweet-tempered, 
conscientious woman, who tried, under all circum- 
stances, to do what was right. She had sound judg- 
ment and rare common sense, was tall and fine-looking, 
with luxuriant brown hair, large, tender blue eyes, 
delicate features, and affable manners. They had 
an exceptionally fine family of five sons and one daugh- 
ter. Fanny, now the wife of Henry Villard, the 
financier, was the favorite and pet. All the children, 
in their maturer years, have fulfilled the promise of 
their childhood. 

Though always in straitened circumstances, the 
Garrisons were very hospitable. It was next to 
impossible for Mr. Garrison to meet a friend without 
inviting him to his house, especially at the close of a 
convention. I was one of twelve at one of his 
impromptu tea parties. We all took it for granted 
that his wife knew we were coming, and that her 
preparations were already made. Surrounded by 
half a dozen children, she was performing the last act 
in the opera of Lullaby, wholly unconscious of the 
invasion downstairs. But Mr. Garrison was equal 
to every emergency, and, after placing his guests at 
their ease in the parlor, he hastened to the nursery, took 
off his coat, and rocked the baby until his wife dis- 
posed of the remaining children. Then they had a 
consultation about the tea, and when, basket in hand, 
the good man sallied forth for the desired viands, Mrs. 
Garrison, having made a hasty toilet, came down to 

Boston and Chelsea 127 

welcome her guests. She was as genial and self- 
possessed as if all things had been prepared. She 
made no apologies for what was lacking in the general 
appearance of the house nor in the variety of the 
menu — it was sufficient for her to know that Mr. 
Garrison was happy in feeling free to invite his friends. 
The impromptu meal was excellent, and we had a 
most enjoyable evening. I have no doubt that Mrs. 
Garrison had more real pleasure than if she had been 
busy all day making preparations, and had been tired 
out when her guests arrived. 

The antislavery conventions and fairs, held every 
year during the holidays, brought many charming 
people from other states, and made Boston a social 
center for the coadjutors of Garrison and Phillips. 
These conventions surpassed any meetings I had ever 
attended; the speeches were eloquent, and the debates 
earnest and forcible. Garrison and Phillips were in 
their prime, and slavery was a question of national 
interest. The hall in which the fairs were held, under 
the auspices of Mrs. Chapman and her cohorts, was 
most artistically decorated. There one could purchase 
whatever the fancy could desire, for English friends, 
stimulated by the appeals of Harriet Martineau and 
Elizabeth Pease, used to send boxes of beautiful things, 
gathered from all parts of the Eastern Continent. 
There, too, one could get a most recherche luncheon 
in the society of the literati of Boston; for, however 
indifferent many were to slavery per se, they enjoyed 
these fairs. It was a kind of ladies' exchange for the 
holiday week, where each one was sure to meet her 
friends. The fair and the annual convention, coming 

128 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in succession, intensified the interest in both. I never 
grew weary of the conventions, though I attended all 
the sessions, lasting sometimes until eleven o'clock at 
night. The fiery eloquence of the abolitionists, the 
amusing episodes that occurred when some crank was 
suppressed, gave sufficient variety to the proceedings 
to keep the interest up to high-water mark. 

There was one old man dressed in white, carrying a 
scythe, who imagined himself the personification of 
"Time," though called "Father Lampson." Occa- 
sionally, he would bubble over with some prophetic 
vision, and, as he could not be silenced, he was carried 
out. He usually made himself as limp as possible, 
which added to the difficulty of his exit and the amuse- 
ment of the audience. A ripple of merriment would 
unsettle, for a moment, even the dignity of the plat- 
form when Abigail Folsom, another crank, would 
shout from the gallery, "Stop not, my brother, on the 
order of your going, but go." The abolitionists were 
making the experiment, at this time, of a free platform, 
allowing everyone to speak as moved by the spirit, 
but they soon found that would not do, as those evi- 
dently moved by the spirit of mischief were quite as 
apt to air their vagaries as those moved by the spirit 
of truth. 

A number of immense mass meetings were held in 
Faneuil Hall, a large, dreary place with bare walls and 
innumerable dingy windows. The only attempt at 
an ornament was the American eagle, with its wings 
spread and claws firmly set, in the middle of the gallery. 
The gilt was worn off its beak, giving the appearance, 
as Edmund Quincy said, of having a bad cold in the 

Boston and Chelsea 129 

head. This old hall was sacred to so many memories 
connected with the early days of the Revolution that 
it was a kind of Mecca for the lovers of liberty visiting 
Boston. The antislavery meetings held there were 
often disturbed by mobs that would hold the most 
gifted orator at bay hour after hour, and would listen 
only to the songs of the Hutchinson family. Although 
these songs were a condensed extract of the whole 
antislavery constitution and by-laws, yet the mob was 
as peaceful under these paeans to liberty as a child 
under the influence of an anodyne. What a welcome 
and beautiful vision that was when the four brothers, 
in blue broadcloth and white collars, turned down a 
la Byron, and little sister Abby in silk, soft lace, and 
blue ribbon, appeared on the platform to sing their 
quaint ballads of freedom! Fresh from the hills of 
New Hampshire, they looked so sturdy, so vigorous, 
so pure, so true, that they seemed fitting representa- 
tives of all the cardinal virtues, and even a howling 
mob could not resist their influence. Perhaps, after 
one of their ballads, the mob would listen five minutes 
to Wendell Phillips or Garrison until he gave them 
some thrusts, when all was uproar again. The North- 
ern merchants who made their fortunes out of Southern 
cotton, the politicians who needed votes, and the 
ministers who wanted to keep peace in the churches, 
were all as much opposed to the antislavery agitation 
as were the slaveholders themselves. These were 
the classes the mob represented, though seemingly 
composed of gamblers, liquor dealers, and dema- 
gogues. For years the antislavery struggle at the 
North was carried on against statecraft, priestcraft, 

130 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the cupidity of the moneyed classes, and the ignorance 
of the masses, but, in spite of all these forces of evil, 
it triumphed at last. 

I was in Boston at the time that Lane and Wright, 
some metaphysical Englishmen, and our own Alcott 
held their famous philosophical conversations, in 
which Elizabeth Peabody took part. I went to them 
regularly. I was ambitious to absorb all the wisdom 
I could, but, really, I could not give an intelligent 
report of the points under discussion at any sitting. 
Oliver Johnson asked me, one day, if I enjoyed them. 
I thought, from a twinkle in his eye, that he thought I 
did not, so I told him I was ashamed to confess that 
I did not know what they were talking about. He 
said: "Neither do I — very few of their hearers do — 
so you need not be surprised that they are incompre- 
hensible to you, nor think less of your own capacity." 

I was indebted to Mr. Johnson for several of the 
great pleasures I enjoyed in Boston. He escorted me 
to an entire course of Theodore Parker's lectures, 
given in the Marlborough Chapel. This was soon 
after the great preacher had given his famous sermon 
on "The Permanent and Transient in Religion," 
when he was ostracized, even by the Unitarians, for 
his radical utterances, and not permitted to preach 
in any of their pulpits. His lectures were deemed 
still more heterodox than that sermon. He shocked 
the orthodox churches of that day — more, even, than 
Ingersoll has in our times. 

During the winter in Boston I attended all the 
lectures, churches, theaters, concerts, and temperance, 
peace, and prison-reform conventions within my reach. 

Boston and Chelsea 131 

I had never lived in such an enthusiastically literary 
and reform latitude before, and my mental powers 
were kept at the highest tension. We went to Chelsea 
for the summer, and boarded with the Baptist minister, 
the Rev. John Wesley Olmstead, afterward editor of 
the Watchman and Reflector. He had married my 
cousin, Mary Livingston, one of the most lovely, 
unselfish characters I ever knew. There I had the 
opportunity of meeting several of the leading Baptist 
ministers in New England, and, as I was thoroughly 
imbued with Parker's ideas, we had many heated 
discussions on theology. There, too, 1 met Orestes 
Bronson, a remarkably well-read man, who had gone 
through every phase of religious experience, from blank 
atheism to the bosom of the Catholic Church, where 
I believe he found repose at the end of his days. He 
was so arbitrary and dogmatic that most people did 
not like him; but I appreciated his acquaintance, 
as he was a liberal thinker and had a world of infor- 
mation which he readily imparted to those of a teach- 
able spirit. As I was then in a hungering, thirsting 
condition for truth, the friendship of such a man was, 
to me, an inestimable blessing. Reading Theodore 
Parker's lectures years afterwaid, I was surprised to 
find how little there was in them to shock anybody — 
the majority of thinking people having grown up to 

There being no public conveyances running on 
Sunday from the ferry, I used to walk to Marlborough 
Chapel to hear Mr. Parker preach. It was a long 
distance, over two miles, and I was so tired on reaching 
the chapel that I made it a point to sleep through all 

132 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the preliminary service, so as to be fresh for the sermon, 
as the friend next whom I sat always wakened me in 
time. One Sunday, when my friend was absent, it 
being a very warm day, and I unusually fatigued, I 
slept until the sexton informed me that he was about 
to close the doors! In an unwary moment I imparted 
this fact to my Baptist friends. They made all manner 
of fun ever afterward of the soothing nature of Mr. 
Parker's theology, and my long walk every Sunday to 
repose in the shadow of a heterodox altar. 

Mrs. Oliver Johnson and I spent two days at the 
Brook Farm Community when in the height of its 
prosperity. There I met the Ripleys — who were, I 
believe, the backbone of the experiment — William 
Henry Channing, Bronson Alcott, Charles A. Dana, 
Frederick Cabot, William Chase, Mrs. Horace Greeley, 
who was spending a few days there, and many others, 
whose names I cannot recall. Here was a charming 
family of intelligent men and women, doing their own 
farm and house work, with lectures, readings, music, 
dancing, and games when desired. The story of the 
beginning and end of this experiment of community 
life has been told so often that I will simply say that 
its failure was a grave disappointment to those most 
deeply interested in its success. Mr. Channing told 
me, years after, when he was pastor of the Unitarian 
church in Rochester that, when the Roxbury com- 
munity was dissolved, and he was obliged to return to 
the old life of competition, he would gladly have been 
laid under the sod, as the isolated home seemed so 
solitary, silent, and selfish. 

In 1843 m y father moved to Albany to establish 

Boston and Chelsea 133 

my brothers-in-law, Samuel Wilkeson and Daniel 
McMartin, in the legal profession. That made Albany 
the family rallying point for several years. This 
enabled me to spend several winters at the capital, 
and to take an active part in the discussion of the 
Married Woman's Property Bill, then pending in the 
Legislature. 1 William H. Seward, Governor of the 
state from 1839 to 1843, recommended the bill, and 
his wife, a woman of intelligence, advocated it in 
society. Together we had the opportunity of talking 
with many members, both of the Senate and the 
Assembly, in social circles, as well as in their com- 
mittee rooms. Bills were pending from 1836 to 1848, 
when the measure finally passed. 

My second son was born in Albany, in March, 1844, 
under more favorable auspices than the first, as I knew 
then what to do with a baby. Returning to Chelsea 
we commenced housekeeping, which afforded me 
another chapter of experience. A new house, newly 
furnished, with beautiful views of Boston Bay, was 
all I could desire. Mr. Stanton announced to me, in 
starting, that his business would occupy all his time, 
and that I must take entire charge of the housekeeping. 
So, with two good servants, and two babies under my 
sole supervision, my time was pleasantly occupied. 

When first installed as mistress over an establish- 
ment, one has that same feeling of pride and satis- 
faction that a young minister must have in taking 
charge of his first congregation. It is a proud moment 
in a woman's life to reign supreme within four walls, 

1 The letter from Mrs. Stanton to Elizabeth Smith, dated Albany, February 
15, 1843, confirms this. 

134 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to be the one to whom all questions of domestic pleas- 
ure and economy are referred, and to hold in her hand 
that little family book in which the daily expenses, 
the outgoings and incomings, are duly registered. I 
studied up everything pertaining to housekeeping, 
and enjoyed it all. Even washing day — that day so 
many people dread — had its charms for me. The 
clean clothes on the lines and on the grass looked so 
white, and smelled so sweet, that it was to me a pretty 
sight to contemplate. I inspired my laundress with 
an ambition to have her clothes look white and to get 
them out earlier than our neighbors, and to have them 
ironed and put away sooner. 

As Mr. Stanton did not come home to dinner, we 
made a picnic of our noon meal on Mondays, and all 
thoughts and energies were turned to speed the wash- 
ing. No unnecessary sweeping or dusting, no visiting 
nor "entertaining angels unawares" on that day — it 
was held sacred to soap suds, blue-bags, and clothes- 
lines. The children, only, had no deviation in the 
regularity of their lives. They had their drives and 
walks, their naps and rations, in quantity and time, 
as usual. I had all the most approved cookbooks, 
and spent time preserving, pickling, and experimenting 
in new dishes. I felt the same ambition to excel in 
all departments of the culinary art that I did at school 
in the different branches of learning. My love of 
order and cleanliness was carried throughout, from 
parlor to kitchen, from the front door to the back. I 
gave a man an extra shilling to pile the logs of fire- 
wood with their smooth ends outward, though I did 
not have them scoured white, as did my Dutch grand- 

Boston and Chelsea 135 

mother. I tried, too, to give an artistic touch to 
everything — the dress of my children and servants 
included. My dining table was round, always covered 
with a clean cloth of a pretty pattern and a center- 
piece of flowers in their season, pretty dishes, clean 
silver, and set with neatness and care. I put my 
soul into everything, and hence enjoyed it. I never 
could understand how housekeepers could rest with 
rubbish all round their back doors; eggshells, broken 
dishes, tin cans, and old shoes scattered round their 
premises; servants ragged and dirty, with their hair 
in papers, and with the kitchen and dining room full 
of flies. I have known even artists to be indifferent 
to their personal appearance and their surroundings. 
Surely a mother and child, tastefully dressed, and a 
pretty home for a framework, is, as a picture, even 
more attractive than a domestic scene hung on the 
wall. The love of the beautiful can be illustrated as 
well in life as on canvas. There is such a struggle 
among women to become artists that I really wish 
some of their gifts could be illustrated in clean, orderly, 
beautiful homes. 

Our house was pleasantly situated on the Chelsea 
Hills, commanding a fine view of Boston, the harbor, 
and surrounding country. There, on the upper piazza, 
I spent some of the happiest days of my life, enjoying, 
in turn, the beautiful outlook, my children, and my 
books. Here, under the very shadow of Bunker Hill 
Monument, my third son was born. Shortly after 
this Gerrit Smith and his wife came to spend a few 
days with us; so this boy, much against my will, was 
named after my cousin. I did not believe in old 

136 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

family names unless they were peculiarly euphonious. 
I had a list of beautiful names for sons and daughters, 
from which to designate each newcomer; but, as yet, 
not one on my list had been used for my children. 
However, I put my foot down at number four, and 
named him Theodore, and, thus far, he has proved 
himself a veritable "gift of God," doing his uttermost, 
in every way possible, to fight the battle of freedom 
for woman. When discussing the importance of 
one's name I always recall the last time I was in Paris, 
an old republican of 1848 told me this anecdote of 
Victor Hugo. He was in the midst of a set speech 
when he was interrupted by name by a conservative 
who did not like the poet's radical ideas. Turning 
on him, Victor Hugo said gently: "You seem to know 
my name, but I don't know yours." The interrupter 
replied "Bonbonsson!" Victor Hugo waited a moment 
and then remarked amidst laughter, "Well, that's 
more than I could have expected!" 

During the visit of my cousin to my Chelsea home I 
thought I would venture on a small dinner party, 1 
consisting of the Rev. John Pierpont and his wife, 
Charles Summer, John G. Whittier, and Joshua Leavitt. 
I had a new cook, Rose, whose viands thus far had 
proved delicious, so I had no anxiety on that score. 
But, unfortunately, on this occasion I had given her, 
to flavor the pudding sauce, a bottle of wine, of which 
she imbibed too freely, and hence there were some 
glaring blunders in the menu that were exceedingly 
mortifying. But as Mr. Smith and my husband were 

1 Another side of this dinner party is given in the letter of July 17, 1845, 
to her mother. 

Boston and Chelsea 137 

both good talkers, they covered all the defects with 
their brilliant conversation. Rose had all the points 
of a good servant, phrenologically and physiologically. 
She had a large head, with bumps of caution and 
order; her eyes were large and soft, and far apart. In 
selecting her, scientifically, I had told my husband, 
in triumph, several times what a treasure I had found. 
Shortly after the dinner, one evening when I was out, 
she held the baby while the nurse was eating her supper, 
and carelessly burned his foot against the stove. Poor 
Rose! She wept over her lapses when sober, and made 
fair promises for the future, but I did not dare to trust 
her, so we parted. Mr. Stanton suggested that in 
selecting the next cook I would better not trust to 
science, but inquire of the family where she had last 
lived as to her practical virtues. The one drawback 
to the joys of housekeeping was then, as it is now, the 
lack of faithful, competent servants. The hope of 
co-operative housekeeping, in the near future, gives 
us some promise of a more harmonious domestic life. 
One of the books in my library I value most highly 
is the first volume of Whittier's poems, published in 
1838, "Dedicated to Henry B. Stanton, as a token 
of the author's personal friendship, and of his respect 
for the unreserved devotion of exalted talents to the 
cause of humanity and freedom." Soon after our 
marriage we spent a few days with our gifted Quaker 
poet on his farm in Massachusetts. I shall never 
forget those happy days in June; the long walks and 
drives, and talks under the old trees of antislavery 
experiences, and Whittier's mirth and indignation as 
we described different scenes in the World's Anti- 

138 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

slavery Convention in London. He laughed immod- 
erately at the Tom Campbell episode. Poor fellow! 
He had taken too much wine that day, and when 
Whittier's verses, addressed to the convention, were 
read, he criticized them severely, and wound up by 
saying that "the soul of a poet was not in him. ,, Mr. 
Stanton sprang to his feet and recited some of Whittier's 
stirring stanzas on freedom, which electrified the 
audience, and turning to Campbell, he said, "What 
do you say to that?" "Ah! that's real poetry," he 
replied. "And John Greenleaf Whittier is its author," 
said Mr. Stanton. 

I enjoyed, too, the morning and evening service, 
when our host's revered mother read the Scriptures, 
and we all bowed our heads in silent worship. There 
was at times, however, an atmosphere of solemnity 
that was oppressive. There was a shade of sadness 
in even the smile of the mother and sister, and a rigid 
plainness in the house and its surroundings, a depressed 
look in Whittier himself that the songs of the birds, the 
sunshine, and the bracing New England air seemed 
powerless to chase away, caused, as I afterward heard, 
by pecuniary embarrassment, and fears in regard to 
the delicate health of the sister. She, too, had rare 
poetic talent, and in her Whittier found not only a 
helpful companion in the practical affairs of life, but 
one who sympathized with him in the highest flights 
of which his muse was capable. Their worst fears 
were realized in the death of the sister not long after. 
In his last volume several of her poems were published, 
which are quite worthy the place the brother's appre- 
ciation has given them. Whittier's love and reverence 

Boston and Chelsea 139 

for his mother and sister, so marked in every word 
and look, were charming features of his home life. 
All his poems to our sex breathe the same tender, 
worshipful sentiments. 

Later our noble friend spent a few days with us in 
Chelsea. One evening, after we had been talking a 
long time of the unhappy dissensions among anti- 
slavery friends, by way of dissipating the shadows I 
opened the piano, and proposed that we should sing 
some cheerful songs. "Oh, no!" exclaimed Mr. Stan- 
ton, "do not touch a note; you will put every nerve 
of Whittier's body on edge." It seemed to me so 
natural for a poet to love music that I was surprised 
to know that it was a torture to him. Sitting on the 
piazza one moonlight night, admiring the outlines of 
Bunker Hill Monument and the weird effect of the 
sails and masts of the vessels lying in the harbor, we 
naturally passed from the romance of our surroundings 
to those of our lives. I have often noticed that the 
most reserved people are apt to grow confidential at 
such an hour. It was under such circumstances that 
Whittier opened to me a deeply interesting page of 
his life, a sad romance of love and disappointment, 
that may not yet be told, as some who were interested 
in the events are still among the living. 

Whittier's poems were not only one of the most 
important factors in the antislavery war and victory, 
but they have been equally potent in emancipating 
the minds of his generation from the gloomy super- 
stitions of the puritanical religion. Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, in his eulogy of Whittier, says that his influ- 
ence on the religious thought of the American people 


140 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

has been far greater than that of the occupant of any 

As my husband's health was delicate, and the New 
England winters proved too severe for him, we left 
Boston with many regrets, and sought a more genial 
climate in Central New York. 

Chapter IX: The First Woman's Rights 


IN 1846 we moved to Seneca Falls. Here we spent 
sixteen years of our married life, and here our other 
children — two sons and two daughters — were born. 

I was already acquainted with many of the people 
and the surroundings in Seneca Falls, as my sister, 
Mrs. Bayard, had lived there several years, and I 
had frequently made her long visits. We had quite 
a magnetic circle of reformers, too, in Central New 
York. At Rochester were William Henry Channing, 
Frederick Douglas, the Posts, Hallowells, Stebbins, 
old Quaker families at Farmington; the Mays, Sedg- 
wicks, and Mills at Syracuse; Gerrit Smith at Peter- 
boro, and Beriah Green at Whitesboro. 

The house we were to occupy had been closed for 
some years, and needed many repairs, and the grounds, 
comprising five acres, were overgrown with weeds. 
My father gave me a check and said with a smile, 
"You believe in woman's capacity to do and dare; 
now go ahead and put your place in order." After 
a minute survey of the premises, and due consultation 
with one or two sons of Adam, I set the carpenters, 
painters, paperhangers, and gardeners at work, built 
a new kitchen and woodhouse, and in one month took 
possession. Having left my children with my mother. 

142 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

there were no impediments to a full display of my 
executive ability. In the purchase of brick, timber, 
paint, etc., and in making bargains with workmen, I 
was in frequent consultation with my neighbors, Judge 
Sackett and Mr. Bascom. The latter was a member 
of the Constitutional Convention, then in session in 
Albany, and as he used to walk down whenever he was 
at home to see how my work progressed, we had long 
talks, sitting on boxes in the midst of tools and shav- 
ings, on the status of women. I urged him to propose 
an amendment to Article II, Section 3, of the State 
Constitution, striking out the word "male," which 
limits the suffrage to men. But, while he fully agreed 
with all I had to say on the political equality of women, 
he had not the courage to " make himself the laughing- 
stock" of the convention. Whenever I cornered him 
on this point, manlike he turned the conversation to 
the painters and carpenters. However, these con- 
versations had the effect of bringing him into the first 
woman's convention, where he did us good service. 

In Seneca Falls my life was comparatively solitary, 
and the change from Boston was somewhat depressing. 
There, all my immediate friends were reformers, I 
had near neighbors, a new house with all the modern 
conveniences, and well-trained servants. Here, our 
residence was on the outskirts of the town, roads very 
often muddy and no sidewalks most of the way, Mr. 
Stanton was frequently from home, I had poor servants, 
and an increasing number of children. To keep a 
house and grounds in good order, purchase every 
article for daily use, keep the wardrobes of half a 
dozen human beings in proper trim, take the children 

The First Woman's Rights Convention 143 

to dentists, shoemakers, and different schools, or find 
teachers at home, altogether made sufficient work to 
keep one brain busy, as well as all the hands I could 
impress into the service. Then, too, the novelty of 
housekeeping had passed away, and much that was 
once attractive in domestic life was now irksome. 

There was an Irish settlement at a short distance, 
and continual complaints were coming to me that my 
boys threw stones at their pigs, cows, and the roofs 
of their houses. This involved constant diplomatic 
relations in the settlement of various difficulties, in 
which I was so successful that at length they consti- 
tuted me a kind of umpire in all their own quarrels. 
If a drunken husband was pounding his wife the 
children would run for me. Hastening to the scene 
of action, I would take Patrick by the collar, and, 
much to his surprise and shame, make him sit down 
and promise to behave himself. I never had one of 
them offer me the least resistance, and in time they 
all came to regard me as one having authority. I 
strengthened my influence by cultivating good feeling. 
I lent the men papers to read, and invited their children 
into our grounds, giving them fruit, of which we had 
abundance, and my children's old clothes, books, and 
toys. I was their physician, also — with my box of 
homeopathic medicines I took charge of the men, 
women, and children in sickness. Thus the most 
amicable relations were established, and, in any emer- 
gency, these poor neighbors were good friends and 
always ready to serve me. 

But I found police duty rather irksome, especially 
when called out dark nights to prevent drunken fathers 

144 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

from disturbing their sleeping children, or to minister 
to poor mothers in the pangs of maternity. Alas! 
alas! who can measure the mountains of sorrow and 
suffering endured in unwelcome motherhood in the 
abodes of ignorance, poverty, and vice, where terror- 
stricken women and children are the victims of strong 
men frenzied with passion and intoxicating drink? 

Up to this time life had glided by with comparative 
ease, but now the real struggle was upon me. My 
duties were too numerous and varied, and none suf- 
ficiently exhilarating or intellectual to bring into play 
my higher faculties. I suffered with mental hunger, 
which, like an empty stomach, is very depressing. I 
had books, but no stimulating companionship. To 
add to my general dissatisfaction at the change from 
Boston, I found that Seneca Falls was a malarial region, 
and in due time all the children were attacked with chills 
and fever. The servants were afflicted in the same 
way. The love of order and the beautiful and artistic 
all seemed fading away in the struggle to accomplish 
what was absolutely necessary from hour to hour. 

I now fully understood the practical difficulties most 
women had to contend with in the isolated household, 
and the impossibility of woman's best development 
if in contact, the chief part of her life, with servants 
and children. Fourier's phalansterie community life 
and co-operative household had a new significance 
for me. Emerson says, "A healthy discontent is the 
first step to progress." The general discontent I felt 
with woman's portion as wife, mother, housekeeper, 
physician, and spiritual guide, the chaotic conditions 
into which everything fell without her constant super- 

The First Woman's Rights Convention 145 

vision, and the wearied, anxious look of the majority 
of women impressed me with a strong feeling that 
some active measures should be taken to remedy the 
wrongs of society in general, and of women in par- 
ticular. My experience at the World's Antislavery 
Convention, all I had read of the legal status of women, 
and the oppression I saw everywhere, together swept 
across my soul, intensified now by many personal 
experiences. It seemed as if all the elements had 
conspired to impel me to some onward step. I could 
not see what to do or where to begin — my only thought 
was a public meeting for protest and discussion. 

In this tempest-tossed condition of mind I received 
an invitation to spend the day with Lucretia Mott, 
at Richard Hunt's, in Waterloo. There I met several 
members of different families of Friends, earnest, 
thoughtful women. I poured out the torrent of my 
long - accumulating discontent with such vehemence 
and indignation that I stirred myself, as well as the 
rest of the party, to do and dare anything. My 
discontent, according to Emerson, must have been 
healthy, for it moved us all to prompt action, and 
we decided, then and there, to call a "Woman's Rights 
Convention." We wrote the call 1 that evening and 
published it in the Seneca County Courier the next day, 
the 14th of July, 1848, giving only five days' notice, as 
the convention was to be held on the 19th and 20th. 

1 The antique mahogany table on which this call was written now stands 
in the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D. C. There is no sugges- 
tion in the accompanying exhibit of the real founders of the movement. 
The pictures hung near the table are of presidents of the National American 
Woman's Suffrage Association who did not hold the office until after 1892, 
and who were not born or not associated with the cause until long after 1848. 

146 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The call was inserted without signatures — in fact it was 
a mere announcement of a meeting — but the movers 
and managers were Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann M'Clin- 
tock, Jane Hunt, Martha C. Wright, and myself. The 
convention, which was held two days in the Methodist 
church, was in every way a success. The house was 
crowded at every session, the speaking good, and a 
religious earnestness dignified all the proceedings. At 
the first session a Declaration of Sentiments, 1 patterned 
after the Declaration of Independence, was read. 

As we had had but five days from the time of calling 
the convention until the date set for convening, all 
preparations had to be made with the greatest despatch. 
The statement of woman's grievances was drawn up 
the Sunday before July 19th. There was little time 
for consultation; each one of the rebellious group had 
to develop some side of the great drama. Beside 
the Declaration, eleven resolutions covering our aims 
and demands were prepared. Ijwas wholly responsible 
for the IX resolution, which proved to be the con- 
tentious plank of our platform. My revolutionary 
sentiment read: "Resolved, That it is the duty of 
the women of this country to secure to themselves 
their sacred right to the elective franchise." When 
I spoke to Lucretia Mott about my intention to present 
this, she amazed me by objecting, "Why, Lizzie, thee 
will make us ridiculous. " But I persisted, for I saw 
clearly that the power to make the laws was the right 
through which all other rights could be secured. 

In the convention all other resolutions were carried 

1 The Declaration and Resolutions may be found in the History of Woman 
Suffrage, vol. i, pp. 70-73. 

The First Woman's Rights Convention 147 

unanimously, but with the help of Frederick Douglass, 
and after a heated discussion, the IX resolution was 
finally passed by a small majority, and was embodied 
in the complete draft signed by one hundred of the 
persons who were present. 1 

1 Those signing the Declaration and Resolutions at Seneca Falls, July 
19 and 20, 1848, were, to quote the old list: 

Lucretia Mott Sophronia Taylor 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Cynthia Davis 

Harriet Cady Eaton 
Margaret Pryor 
Eunice Newton Foote 
Mary Ann M'Clintock 
Margaret Schooley 
Martha C. Wright 
Jane C. Hunt 
Amy Post 

Catherine F. Stebbins 
Mary Ann Frink 
Lydia Mount 
Delia Mathews 
Catherine C. Paine 

Hannah Plant 
Lucy Jones 
Sarah Whitney 
Mary H. Hallowell 
Elizabeth Conklin 
Sally Pitcher 
Mary Conklin 
Susan Quinn 
Mary S. Mirror 
Phebe King 
Julia Ann Drake 
Charlotte Woodward 
Martha Underhill 

Elizabeth W. M'Clintock Dorothy Mathews 

Malvina Seymour 
Phebe Mosher 
Catherine Shaw 
Deborah Scott 
Sarah Hallowell 
Mary M'Clintock 
Mary Gilbert 

Richard P. Hunt 
Samuel D. Tillman 
Justin Williams 
Elisha Foote 
Frederick Douglass 
Henry W. Seymour 
Henry Seymour 
David Spalding 
William G. Barker 
Elias J. Doty 
John Jones 

Eunice Barker 
Sarah R. Woods 
Lydia Gild 
Sarah Hoffman 
Elizabeth Leslie 
Martha Ridley 

" Gentlemen: 
William S. Dell 
James Mott 
William Burroughs 
Robert Smallbridge 
Jacob Mathews 
Charles L. Hoskins 
Thomas M'Clintock 
Saron Phillips 
Jacob P. Chamberlain 
Jonathan Metcalf 

Rachel D. Bonnel 
Betsey Tewksbury 
Rhoda Palmer 
Margaret Jenkins 
Cynthia Fuller 
Mary Martin 
P. A. Culvert 
Susan R. Doty 
Rebecca Race 
Sarah A. Mosher 
Mary E. Vail 
Lucy Spalding 
Lovina Latham 
Sarah Smith 
Eliza Martin 
Maria E.Wilbur 
Elizabeth D. Smith 
Caroline Barker 
Ann Porter 
Experience Gibbs 
Antoinette E. Segur 
Hannah J. Latham 
Sarah Sisson 

Nathan J. Milliken 
S. E. Woodworth 
Edward F. Underhill 
George W. Pryor 
Joel Bunker 
Isaac Van Tassel 
Thomas Dell 
E. W. Capron 
Stephen Shear 
Henry Hatley 
Azaliah Schooley" 

148 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

These were the hasty, initiative steps of "the most 
momentous reform that had yet been launched on 
the world — the first organized protest against the 
injustice which had brooded for ages over the character 
and destiny of one-half of the race." 1 No words 
could express our astonishment on finding that what 
seemed to us so timely, so rational, and so sacred, 
should be a subject for sarcasm and ridicule to the 
entire press of the nation. With our Declaration 
of Rights and Resolutions for a text, it seemed as if 
every man who could wield a pen prepared a homily 
on "woman's sphere." The antislavery papers stood 
by us manfully, and so did Frederick Douglass, both 
in the convention and in his paper, the North Star; 
but so pronounced was the popular voice against us, 
in the parlor, press, and pulpit, that most of the ladies 
who had attended the convention and signed the 
declaration, one by one, withdrew their names and 
influence, and joined our persecutors. Our friends 
gave us the cold shoulder, and felt themselves disgraced 
by the whole proceeding. 

If I had had the slightest premonition of all that 
was to follow that convention, I fear I should not 
have had the courage to risk it, and I must confess 
that it was with fear and trembling that I consented 
to attend another on August 2d in Rochester. For- 
tunately, the first one seemed to have drawn all the 
fire, and of the second but little was said. But ^ve 
had set the ball in motion, and now, in quick succes- 
sion, conventions were held in Ohio, Indiana, Mas- 

1 The letters of July 16, September 14, and September 30, 1848, bring the 
reader in direct touch with events at the time. 

The First Woman's Rights Convention 149 

sachusetts, Pennsylvania, and in the city of New 

The most noteworthy of the early conventions 
were those held in Massachusetts, in which such men 
as Garrison, Phillips, Channing, Parker, and Emerson 
took part. It was one of these that first attracted 
the attention of Mrs. John Stuart Mill, and drew 
from her pen an able article on "The Enfranchisement 
of Woman," in the Westminster Review of October, 1852. 

The same year of the Seneca Falls convention, the 
Married Woman's Property Bill, which had given rise 
to some discussion on woman's rights in New York, 
had passed the legislature. This encouraged action 
on the part of women, as the reflection naturally arose 
that, if the men who make the laws were ready for 
some onward step, surely the women themselves 
should express interest in legislation. We had cir- 
culated petitions for the Married Woman's Property 
Bill for many years, and so also had the leaders of the 
Dutch aristocracy, who desired to see their life-long 
accumulations descend to their daughters and grand- 
children rather than to pass into the hands of dissi- 
pated, thriftless sons-in-law. Hence, the demands 
made in the Seneca Falls convention were not entirely 
new to the reading and thinking public of New York — 
with the exception of the demand for the vote. As 
New York was the first state to put the word "male" 
in her constitution in 1778, it was fitting that she 
should be first in more liberal legislation. The effect 
of the convention on my own mind was most salutary. 
The discussions had cleared my ideas as to the primal 
step to be taken for woman's emancipation, and the 

ISO Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

opportunity of expressing myself fully and freely on 
a subject I felt so deeply about was a great relief. I 
think all women who attended the convention felt 
better for the statement of their wrongs, believing 
that the first step had been taken to right them. 

Soon after this I was invited to speak at several 
points in the neighborhood. One night, in the Quaker 
Meeting House at Farmington, I suggested, as usual, 
discussion and questions when I had finished. We 
all waited in silence for a long time; at length a middle- 
aged man, with a broad-brimmed hat, arose and 
responded in a sing-song tone: "All I have to say is, 
if a hen can crow, let her crow,'' emphasizing "crow" 
with an upward inflection on several notes of the 
gamut. The meeting adjourned with mingled feelings 
of surprise and merriment. I confess that I felt some- 
what chagrined in having what I considered my unan- 
swerable arguments so summarily disposed of, and 
the serious impression I had made on the audience 
so speedily dissipated. The good man intended no 
disrespect, as he told me afterward. He simply 
meant to put the whole argument in a nutshell: "Let 
a woman do whatever she can." 

With these new duties and interests, and a broader 
outlook on human life, my petty domestic annoyances 
gradually took a subordinate place. Now I began to 
lecture, to write articles for the press, letters to con- 
ventions held in other states, and private letters to 
friends, to arouse them to thought on the question 
of Woman's Rights. 

[See p. 29 

Edward Bayard 

Portrait by Huntington 

Chapter X: A Lifelong Friendship 

THE reports of these conventions attracted the 
attention of one destined to take a most 
important part in the new movement — Susan 
B. Anthony, who was teaching in the academy at 
Canajoharie, a little village in the beautiful valley of 
the Mohawk. The multiplication table and spelling 
book no longer enchained her thoughts; larger ques- 
tions began to fill her mind. About the year 1850 
Susan B. Anthony hid her ferule away. Temperance 
and antislavery presented themselves, demanding her 
consideration. And, though she was in the beginning 
startled to hear that women had actually met in con- 
vention, and by speeches and resolutions had declared 
themselves man's peer in political rights, and had 
urged radical changes in state constitutions and the 
whole system of American jurisprudence; yet the 
most casual review convinced her that these claims 
were but the logical outgrowth of the fundamental 
theories of our republic. 

At this stage of her development I met my future 
friend and coadjutor for the first time. 1 How well I 
remember that day in 1851! George Thompson and 
William Lloyd Garrison having announced an anti- 
slavery meeting in Seneca Falls, Miss Anthony came 

1 The letter of April 2, 1852, well pictures their early relation, 

152 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to attend it. These gentlemen were my guests. Walk- 
ing home, after the adjournment, we met Mrs. Bloomer 
and Miss Anthony on the corner of the street, waiting 
to greet us. There she stood, with her good, earnest 
face and genial smile, dressed in gray delaine, hat and 
all the same color, relieved with pale blue ribbons, 
the perfection of neatness and sobriety. I liked her 
thoroughly, and why I did not at once invite her home 
with me to dinner, I do not know. She accuses me of 
that neglect, and has never forgiven me, as she wished 
to see and hear all she could of our noble friends. I 
suppose my mind was full of what I had heard, or my 
coming dinner, or the probable behavior of three 
mischievous boys who had been busily exploring the 
premises while I was at the meeting. 

That I had abundant cause for anxiety in regard 
to the philosophical experiments these young savages 
might try the reader will admit, when informed of 
some of their performances. Henry imagined him- 
self possessed of rare powers of invention (an ances- 
tral weakness for generations), and so made a life 
preserver of corks, and tested its virtues on his brother, 
who was about eighteen months old. Accompanied 
by a troop of expectant boys, the baby was drawn in 
his carriage to the banks of the Seneca, stripped, the 
string of corks tied under his arms, and set afloat in the 
river, the philosopher and his satellites, in a rowboat, 
watching the experiment. The baby, accustomed to a 
morning bath in a large tub, splashed about joyfully, 
keeping his head above water. He was as blue as 
indigo and as cold as a frog when rescued by his anxious 
mother. The next day the same victimized infant was 

A Lifelong Friendship 153 

seen, by a passing friend, seated on the chimney, on the 
highest peak of the house. Without alarming anyone, 
the friend hurried up to the housetop and rescued the 
child. Another time the three elder brothers entered 
into a conspiracy, and locked up the fourth, Theodore, 
in the smoke-house. Fortunately, he sounded the 
alarm loud and clear, and was set free in safety, where- 
upon the three were imprisoned in a garret with two 
barred windows. They summarily kicked out the bars, 
and, sliding down on the lightning rod, betook them- 
selves to the barn for liberty. The youngest boy, Ger- 
rit, then only five years old, skinned his hands in the 
descent. This is a fair sample of the quiet happinecs I 
enjoyed in the first years of motherhood. 

It was 'mid such exhilarating scenes, 1 back in 1852, 
that Miss Anthony and I first began together to write 
addresses for temperance, antislavery, educational, 
and woman's rights conventions. Here we forged 
resolutions, protests, appeals, petitions, agricultural 
reports, and constitutional arguments; for we made 
it a matter of conscience to accept every invitation to 
speak on every question, in order to maintain woman's 
right to do so. To this end we took turns on the 
domestic watchtowers, directing amusements, settling 
disputes, protecting the weak against the strong, and 
trying to secure equal rights to all in the home as well 
as the nation. I can recall many a stern encounter 
between my friend and the young experimenter. It 
is pleasant to remember that he never seriously injured 
any of his victims, and only once came near fatally 
shooting himself with a pistol. The ball went through 

1 Letters of January 20, 1854, and July 15, 1859. 


1 54 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

his hand; happily, a brass button prevented it from 
penetrating his heart. 

It is often said by those who know Miss Anthony 
best, that she has been my good angel, always pushing 
and goading me to work, and that but for her perti- 
nacity I should never have accomplished the little I 
have. On the other hand, it has been said, by those 
who know me best, that I forged the thunderbolts 
and she in the early days fired them. Perhaps all this 
is, in a measure, true. With the cares of a large family 
I might, in time, like too many women, have become 
wholly absorbed in a narrow family selfishness, had not 
my friend been continually exploring new fields for 
missionary labors. Her description of a body of men 
on any platform, complacently deciding questions in 
which woman had an equal interest, without an equal 
voice, readily roused me to a determination to throw 
a firebrand into the midst of their assembly. 

Thus, whenever I saw that stately Quaker girl com- 
ing across my lawn, I knew that some happy convoca- 
tion of the sons of Adam was to be set by the ears, by 
one of our appeals or resolutions. The little portman- 
teau, stuffed with facts, was opened, and there we had 
what the Rev. John Smith and Hon. Richard Roe had 
said: false interpretations of Bible texts, the statistics 
of women robbed of their property, shut out of some 
college, half paid for their work, the reports of some dis- 
graceful trial; injustice enough to turn any woman's 
thoughts from stockings and puddings. Then we 
would get out our pens and write articles for papers, or 
a petition to the legislature; indite letters to the faith- 
ful, here and there; stir up the women in Ohio, Penn- 

A Lifelong Friendship 155 

sylvania, or Massachusetts; call on The Lily, The Una, 
The Liberator, The Standard to remember our wrongs. 
We never met without issuing a pronunciamento on 
some question. In thought and sympathy we were 
one, and in the division of labor we exactly compli- 
mented each other. I am the better writer, she the 
better critic. She supplied the facts and statistics, I 
the philosophy and rhetoric, and, together, we have 
made arguments that have stood unshaken through 
the storms of long years; arguments that no one has 

So entirely one are we that, in all our associations, 
ever side by side on the same platform, not one feeling 
of envy or jealousy has ever shadowed our lives. We 
have indulged freely in criticism of each other when 
alone, and hotly contended whenever we have differed, 
but in our friendship of years there has never been the 
break of one hour. To the world we always seem to 
agree and uniformly reflect each other. Like husband 
and wife, each has the feeling that we must have no 
differences in public. Thus united, at an early day we 
began to survey the state and nation, the future field of 
our labors. We read, with critical eyes, the proceedings 
of Congress and legislatures, of general assemblies and 
synods, of conferences and conventions, and discovered 
that, in all alike, the existence of woman was entirely 

Night after night, by an old-fashioned fireplace, we 

plotted and planned the coming agitation; how, when, 

and where each entering wedge could be driven, by 

which women might be recognized and their rights 

secured. Speedily the state was aflame with disturb- 
1.— 11 

156 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

ances in temperance and teachers' conventions, and 
the press heralded the news far and near that women 
delegates had suddenly appeared, demanding admission 
in men's conventions; that their rights had been hotly 
contested, session after session, by liberal men on the 
one side, the clergy and learned professors on the other, 
an overwhelming majority rejecting the women with 
terrible anathemas and denunciations. Such battles 
were fought over and over in the chief cities of many 
of the Northern states, until the bigotry of men in all 
the reforms and professions was thoroughly exposed. 
Every right achieved, to enter a college, to study a 
profession, to labor in some new industry, or to advo- 
cate a reform measure was contended for inch by inch. 

Many of those enjoying all these blessings now com- 
placently say, "If these pioneers in reform had only 
pressed their measures more judiciously, in a more 
ladylike manner, in more choice language, with a more 
deferential attitude, the gentlemen could not have 
behaved so rudely." I give, in these pages, enough of 
the characteristics of these women, of the sentiments 
they expressed, of their education, ancestry, and posi- 
tion to show that no power could have met the preju- 
dice and bigotry of that period more successfully than 
they did who so bravely and persistently fought and 

Of the most intimate friend I have had for the past 
forty-five years — with whom I have spent weeks and 
months under the same roof — I can truly say that 
Miss Anthony is the most upright, courageous, self- 
sacrificing, magnanimous human being I have ever 
known. I have seen her beset on every side with the 

A Lifelong Friendship 157 

most petty annoyances, ridiculed and misrepresented, 
slandered and persecuted; I have known women 
refuse to take her extended hand; women to whom she 
presented copies of The History oj Woman Suffrage, 
return it unnoticed; others to keep it without one word 
of acknowledgment; others to write most insulting 
letters in answer to hers of affectionate conciliation: 
and yet, under all the cross-fires incident to a reform, 
never has her hope flagged, her self-respect wavered, 
or a feeling of resentment shadowed her mind. So 
closely interwoven have been our lives, our purposes, 
and experiences that, separated, we have a feeling of 
incompleteness — united, such strength of self-assertion 
that no ordinary obstacles, difficulties, or dangers ever 
appear to us insurmountable. 

As our estimate of ourselves and our friendship may 
differ somewhat from that taken from an objective 
point of view, I will give an extract from what our 
common friend Theodore Tilton wrote of us in 1868: 

Miss Susan B. Anthony has been, since 185 1, Mrs. Stanton's 
intimate associate in reformatory labors. These celebrated women 
are of about equal age, but of the most opposite characteristics, 
and illustrate the theory of counterparts in affection by entertain- 
ing for each other a friendship of extraordinary strength. 

Mrs. Stanton is a fine writer, but a poor executant; Miss Anthony 
is a thorough manager, but a poor writer. Both have large brains 
and great hearts; neither has any selfish ambition for celebrity; 
but each vies with the other in a noble enthusiasm for the cause 
to which they are devoting their lives. 

These two women, sitting together in their parlors, have, for 
the last thirty years, been diligent forgers of all manner of projec- 
tiles, from fireworks to thunderbolts, and have hurled them with 
unexpected explosion into the midst of all manner of educational, 
reformatory, religious, and political assemblies; sometimes to the 
pleasant surprise and half welcome of the members, more often 

158 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to the bewilderment and prostration of numerous victims; and, 
in a few signal instances, to the gnashing of angry men's teeth. I 
know of no two more pertinacious incendiaries in the whole country. 
Nor will they themselves deny the charge. In fact this noise- 
making twain are the two sticks of a drum, keeping up what Daniel 
Webster called "The rub-a-dub of agitation." 

Chapter XI : My First Speech Before a 


WOMEN had been willing so long to hold 
a subordinate position, both in private 
and public affairs, that a gradually grow- 
ing feeling of rebellion among them quite exasperated 
the men, and their manifestations of hostility in public 
meetings were often as ridiculous as humiliating. 

True, those gentlemen were all quite willing that 
women should join their societies and churches to do 
the drudgery; to work up the enthusiasm in fairs and 
revivals, conventions, and flag presentations; to pay a 
dollar apiece into their treasury for the honor of being 
members of their various organizations; to beg money 
for the church; to circulate petitions from door to 
door; to visit saloons; to pray with or defy rumsellers; 
to teach school at half price, and sit round the outskirts 
of a hall, in teachers' state conventions, like so many 
wallflowers: but they would not allow them to sit on 
the platform, address the assembly, or vote for men 
and measures. 

Those who had learned the first lessons of human 
rights from the lips of Henry B. Stanton, Samuel J. 
May, and Gerrit Smith would not accept any such 
position. When women abandoned the temperance 
reform, all interest in the question gradually died out 

160 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in the state, and practically nothing was done in New 
York for nearly twenty years. Gerrit Smith made one 
or two attempts toward an " anti-dramshop'' party, 
but, as women could not vote, they felt no interest in 
the project, and failure was the result. 

From the year 1850 conventions were held in various 
states, and their respective legislatures were continu- 
ally besieged. Appeals, calls for meetings, and peti- 
tions were circulated without number. In 1854 I 
prepared my first speech for the New York legislature. 1 
That was a great event in my life. My father felt so 
nervous when he saw, by the Albany Evening Journal, 
that I was to speak at the Capitol, he asked me to 
stop at Johnstown on my way to Albany. Late one 
evening, when he was alone in his office, I entered and 
took my seat on the opposite side of his table, to read 
my speech to him. On no occasion, before or since, 
was I ever more embarrassed — an audience of one, 
and that the one of all others whose approbation I 
most desired, whose disapproval I most feared. I 
knew he condemned the whole movement, and was 
deeply grieved at the active part I had taken. Hence 
I was fully aware that I was about to address a wholly 
unsympathetic audience. However, I began, with 
a dogged determination to give all the power I could 
to my manuscript, and not to be discouraged or turned 
from my purpose by any tender appeals or adverse 
criticisms. I described the widow in the first hours 
of her grief, subject to the intrusions of the coarse 
minions of the law, taking inventory of the household 

1 Details as to the writing of this address are given in the letters of 
December I, 1853, and January 20, 1854. 

My First Speech Before a Legislature 161 

goods, of the old armchair in which her loved one had 
breathed his last, of the old clock in the corner that 
told the hour he passed away. I threw all the pathos 
I could into my voice and language at this point, and, 
to my intense satisfaction, I saw tears filling my father's 
eyes. I cannot express the exultation I felt, thinking 
that now he would see, with my eyes, the injustice 
women suffered under the laws he understood so 

Feeling that I had touched his heart, I went on with 
renewed confidence, and, when I had finished, I saw he 
was thoroughly magnetized. With beating heart I 
waited for him to break the silence. He was evidently 
deeply pondering over all he had heard, and did not 
speak for a long time. I believed I had opened to him 
a new world of thought. He had listened long to 
the complaints of women, but from the lips of his own 
daughter they had come with a deeper pathos and 
power. At last, turning abruptly, he said: "Surely 
you have had a happy, comfortable life, with all your 
wants and needs supplied; and yet that speech fills 
me with self-reproach; for one might naturally ask, 
how can a young woman, tenderly brought up, who has 
had no bitter personal experience, feel so keenly the 
wrongs of her sex? Where did you learn this lesson?" 
"I learned it here," I replied, "in your office, when a 
child, listening to the complaints women made to you. 
They who have sympathy and imagination to make 
the sorrows of others their own can readily learn all 
the hard lessons of life from the experience of others." 
"Well, well!" he said, "you have made your points 
clear and strong; but I think I can find you even more 

162 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

cruel laws than those you have quoted." He suggested 
some improvements in my speech, looked up other 
laws, and it was one o'clock in the morning before we 
kissed each other good-night. How he felt on the 
question after that I do not know, as he never said 
anything in favor of or against it. He gladly gave 
me any help I needed, from time to time, in looking 
up the laws, and was very desirous that whatever I 
gave to the public should be carefully prepared. 

The first woman's convention in Albany was held at 
this time, and we had a kind of protracted meeting for 
two weeks after. There were several hearings before 
both branches of the legislature, and a succession of 
meetings in Association Hall. Being at the capital of 
the state, discussion was aroused at every fireside, while 
the comments of the press were numerous and varied. 
Every little country paper had something witty or silly 
to say about the uprising of the " strong-minded. " 
Those editors whose heads were about the size of an 
apple were the most opposed to the uprising of women, 
illustrating what Sidney Smith said long ago: "There 
always was, and there always will be, a class of men so 
small that, if women were educated, there would be 
nobody left below them." Poor human nature loves 
to have something to look down upon! 

Here is a specimen of the way such editors talked 
at that time. The Albany Register, in an article on 
"Woman's Rights in the Legislature," dated March 
7, 1854, says: 

While the feminine propagandists of women's rights confined 
themselves to the exhibition of short petticoats and long-legged 
boots, and to the holding of conventions and speech-making in 

My First Speech Before a Legislature 163 

concert rooms, the people were disposed to be amused by them, 
as they are by the wit of the clown in the circus, or the performances 
of Punch and Judy on fair days, or the minstrelsy of gentlemen 
with blackened faces, on banjos, the tambourine, and bones. But 
the joke is becoming stale. People are getting cloyed with these 
performances, and are looking for some healthier and more intel- 
lectual amusement. The ludicrous is wearing away, and disgust 
is taking the place of pleasurable sensations, arising from the 
novelty of this new phase of hypocrisy and infidel fanaticism. 

People are beginning to inquire how far public sentiment should 
sanction or tolerate these unsexed women, who would step out from 
the true sphere of the mother, the wife, and the daughter, and 
taking upon themselves the duties and the business of men, 
stalk into the public gaze, and, by engaging in the politics, the 
rough controversies and trafficking of the world, upheave existing 
institutions, and overturn all the social relations of life. 

The frivolous objections some women made to our 
appeals were as exasperating as they were ridiculous. 
To reply to them politely, at all times, required a divine 
patience. On one occasion, after addressing the legis- 
lature, some of the ladies, in congratulating me, in- 
quired, in a deprecating tone, "What do you do with 
your children?" " Ladies," I said, "it takes me no 
longer to speak than you to listen; what have you done 
with your children the two hours you have been sitting 
here? But, to answer your question, I never leave 
my children to go to Saratoga, Washington, Newport, 
or Europe, or even to come here. They are, at this 
moment, with a faithful nurse at the Delevan House, 
and, having accomplished my mission, we shall all 
return home together." 

The children of our household say that among their 
earliest recollections is the tableau of "Mother and 
Susan," seated by a large table covered with books and 
papers, always writing and talking about the Consti- 

164 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

tution, interrupted with occasional visits from others 
of the faithful. Martha C. Wright of Auburn was a 
frequent visitor at the center of the rebellion, as my 
sequestered cottage on Locust Hill was facetiously 
called. She brought to these councils of war not only 
her own wisdom, but that of the wife and sister of 
William H. Seward, and sometimes encouraging sug- 
gestions from,, the great statesman himself, from whose 
writings we often gleaned radical sentiments. Lucretia 
Mott, too, being an occasional guest of her sister, 
Martha C. Wright, added the dignity of her presence 
at many of these important consultations. She was 
uniformly in favor of toning down our fiery pronun- 
ciamentos. For Miss Anthony and myself, the Eng- 
lish language had no words strong enough to express 
the indignation we felt at the prolonged injustice to 
women. We found, however, that, after expressing 
ourselves in the most vehement manner, and thus in 
a measure giving our feelings an outlet, we were recon- 
ciled to issue the documents in milder terms. If the 
men of the state could have known the stern rebukes, 
the denunciations, the wit, the irony, the sarcasm 
that were garnered there, and then judiciously pigeon- 
holed, and milder and more persuasive appeals substi- 
tuted, they would have been truly thankful that they 
fared no worse. 

Senator Seward frequently left Washington to visit 
in our neighborhood, at the house of Judge G. V. 
Sackett, a man of wealth and political influence. One 
of the senator's standing anecdotes, at dinner, to 
illustrate the purifying influence of women at the polls, 
which he always told with great zest for my especial 

My First Speech Before a Legislature 165 

benefit, was in regard to the manner in which his wife's 
sister exercised the right of suffrage. 

He said: "Mrs. Worden, having the supervision of a 
farm near Auburn, was obliged to hire two or three men 
for its cultivation. It was her custom, having exam- 
ined them as to their capacity to perform the required 
labor, their knowledge of tools, horses, cattle, and 
horticulture, to inquire as to their politics. She 
informed them that, being a widow and having no 
one to represent her, she must have Republicans to do 
her voting and to represent her political opinions, and 
it always so happened that the men who offered their 
services belonged to the Republican party. I remarked 
to her, one day, 'Are you sure your men vote as they 
promise?' 'Yes/ she replied, 'I trust nothing to their 
discretion. I take them in my carriage within sight of 
the polls and put them in charge of some Republican 
who can be trusted. I see that they have the right 
tickets, and then I feel sure that I am faithfully repre- 
sented, and I know I am right in so doing. I have 
neither husband, father, nor son; I am responsible for 
my own taxes; am amenable to all the laws of the state; 
must pay the penalty of my own crimes if I commit 
any; hence I have the right, according to the principles 
of our government, to representation, and so long as 
I am not permitted to vote in person, I have a right 
to do so by proxy; hence I hire men to vote my 
principles.' " 

I was often told by fashionable women that they 
objected to the woman's rights movement because of 
the publicity of a convention, the immodesty of speak- 
ing from a platform, and the trial of seeing one's name 

166 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in the papers. Several ladies made such remarks to me 
one day, as a bevy of us were sitting together in one of 
the fashionable hotels in Newport. We were holding 
a convention there at that time, and some of them had 
been present at one of the sessions. "Really," said I, 
"ladies, you surprise me; our conventions are not as 
public as the ballroom where I saw you all dancing last 
night. As to modesty, it may be a question, in many 
minds, whether it is less modest to speak words of 
soberness and truth, plainly dressed on a platform, than 
gorgeously arrayed, with bare arms and shoulders, to 
waltz in the arms of strange gentlemen. And as to the 
press, I noticed you all reading, in this morning's papers, 
with evident satisfaction, the personal compliments and 
full descriptions of your dresses at the last ball. I 
presume that any one of you would have felt slighted 
if your name had not been mentioned in the general 
description. When my name is mentioned, it is in 
connection with some great reform movement. Thus 
we all suffer or enjoy the same publicity — we are alike 
ridiculed. Wise men pity and ridicule you, and fools 
pity and ridicule me — you as the victims of folly and 
fashion, me as the representative of many of the dis- 
agreeable 'isms' of the age, as they choose to style 
liberal opinions. It is amusing, in analyzing prejudices, 
to see on what slender foundation they rest." And the 
ladies around me were so completely cornered that 
no one attempted an answer. 

I remember being at a party at Secretary Seward's 
home, at Auburn, one evening, when Mr. Burlingame, 
special ambassador from China to the United States, 
with a Chinese delegation, were among the guests. As 

My First Speech Before a Legislature 167 

soon as the dancing commenced, and young ladies and 
gentlemen, locked in each other's arms, began to whirl 
in the giddy waltz, these Chinese gentlemen were so 
shocked that they covered their faces with their fans, 
occasionally peeping out each side and expressing their 
surprise to each other. They thought us the most 
immodest women on the face of the earth. Modesty 
and taste are questions of latitude and education; the 
more people know — the more their ideas are expanded 
by travel, experience, and observation — the less easily 
they are shocked. The narrowness and bigotry of 
women are the result of their circumscribed sphere of 
thought and action. 

A few years after Judge Hurlbert had published his 
work on " Human Rights/' in which he advocated 
woman's right to the suffrage, and I had addressed 
the legislature, we met at a dinner party in Albany. 
Senator and Mrs. Seward were there. The Senator 
was very merry on that occasion, and made Judge 
Hurlbert and myself the target for all his ridicule on 
the woman's rights question, in which the company 
joined, so that we stood quite alone. Sure that we 
had the right on our side, and the arguments clearly 
defined in our minds, and both being cool and self- 
possessed, and in wit and sarcasm quite equal to any 
of them, we fought the Senator, inch by inch, until 
he had a very narrow platform to stand on. Mrs. 
Seward maintained an unbroken silence, while those 
ladies who did open their lips were with the oppo- 
sition, supposing, no doubt, that Senator Seward 
represented his wife's opinions. 

When we ladies withdrew from the table my embar- 

1 68 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

rassment may be easily imagined. Separated from 
the judge, I would now be an hour with a bevy of 
ladies who evidently felt repugnance to all my most 
cherished opinions. It was the first time I had met 
Mrs. Seward, and I did not then know the broad, 
liberal tendencies of her mind. What a tide of dis- 
agreeable thoughts rushed through me in that short 
passage from the dining room to the parlor! How 
gladly I would have glided out the front door! But 
that was impossible, so I made up my mind to stroll 
round as if self-absorbed, and look at the books and 
paintings until the judge appeared; as I took it for 
granted that, after all I had said at the table on the 
political, religious, and social equality of women, not 
a lady would have anything to say to me. 

Imagine, then, my surprise when, the moment the 
parlor door was closed upon us, Mrs. Seward, approach- 
ing me most affectionately, said: 

"Let me thank you for the brave words you uttered 
at the dining table, and for your speech before the 
legislature, that thrilled my soul as I read it over and 


I was filled with joy and astonishment. Recovering 
myself, I said, "Is it possible, Mrs. Seward, that you 
agree with me ? Then why, when I was so hard pressed 
by foes on every side, did you not come to the defense ? 
I supposed that all you ladies were hostile to every one 
of my ideas on this question." 

"No, no!" said she; "I am with you thoroughly, 
but I am a born coward; there is nothing I dread more 
than Mr. Seward's ridicule. I would rather walk up to 
the cannon's mouth than encounter it." "I, too, am 

My First Speech Before a Legislature 169 

with you," "And I," said two or three others, who had 
been silent at the table. 

I never had a more serious, heartfelt conversation 
than with these ladies. Mrs. Seward's spontaneity and 
earnestness had moved them all deeply, and when the 
senator appeared the first words he said were: 

"Before we part I must confess that I was fairly 
vanquished by you and the judge, on my own prin- 
ciples" (for we had quoted some of his most radical 
utterances). "You have the argument, but custom 
and prejudice are against you, and they are stronger 
than truth and logic." 

Chapter XII : Reforms and Mobs 

THERE was one bright woman among the many 
in our Seneca Falls literary circle to whom I 
would give more than a passing notice — Mrs. 
Amelia Bloomer, who represented three novel phases 
of woman's life. She was assistant postmistress; an 
editor of a reform paper advocating temperance and 
woman's rights; and an advocate of the new costume ! 
which bore her name! 

In 1849 her husband was appointed postmaster, and 
she became his deputy, was duly sworn in, and, during 
the administration of Taylor and Fillmore, served in 
that capacity. When she assumed her duties the 
improvement in the appearance and conduct of the 
office was generally acknowledged. A neat little room 
adjoining the public office became a kind of ladies' 
exchange, where those coming from different parts of 
the town could meet to talk over the news of the day, 
and read the papers and magazines that came to Mrs. 
Bloomer as editor of the Lily. Those who enjoyed the 
brief reign of a woman in the post office can readily 
testify to the void felt by the ladies of the village when 
Mrs. Bloomer's term expired and a man once more 
reigned in her stead. However, she still edited the 

1 Letters, April 11, June 4, July 2, August 5, October 14, October 18, 185 1; 
May 1, 1853; Diary, March 10, 1889. 

Reforms and Mobs 171 

Lily, and her office remained a fashionable center for 
several years. Although she wore the bloomer dress, 
its originator was Elizabeth Smith Miller, the only- 
daughter of Gerrit Smith. In the winter of 1851 Mrs. 
Miller came to visit me in Seneca Falls, dressed some- 
what in the Turkish style — short skirt, full trousers 
of fine black broadcloth; a Spanish cloak, of the same 
material, reaching to the knee; beaver hat and feathers 
and dark furs; altogether a most becoming costume 
and exceedingly convenient for walking in all kinds of 
weather. To see my cousin, with a lamp in one hand 
and a baby in the other, walk upstairs with ease and 
grace, while, with flowing robes, I pulled myself up 
with difficulty, lamp and baby out of the question, 
readily convinced me that there was sore need of 
reform in woman's dress, and I promptly donned a 
similar costume. What incredible freedom I enjoyed 
for two years! Like a captive set free from his ball 
and chain, I was always ready for a brisk walk through 
sleet and snow and rain, to climb a mountain, jump 
over a fence, work in the garden, and, in fact, for any 
necessary locomotion. 

Mrs. Bloomer, having the Lily in which to discuss 
the merits of the new dress, the press generally took 
up the question, and much valuable information was 
elicited on the physiological results of woman's fashion- 
able attire; the crippling effect of tight waists and 
long skirts, the heavy weight on the hips, and high 
heels, all combined to throw the spine out of plumb 
and lay the foundation for all manner of nervous 
diseases. But, while all agreed that some change was 

absolutely necessary for the health of women, the 
1— 12 

172 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

press stoutly ridiculed those who were ready to make 
the experiment. 

A few sensible women, in different parts of the 
country, adopted the costume, and farmers' wives 
especially proved its convenience. It was also worn 
by skaters, gymnasts, tourists, and in sanitariums. 
But, while the few realized its advantages, the many 
laughed it to scorn, and heaped such ridicule on its 
wearers that they soon found that the physical free- 
dom enjoyed did not compensate for the persistent 
persecution and petty annoyances suffered at every 
turn. To be rudely gazed at in public and private, 
to be the conscious subjects of criticism, and to be 
followed by crowds of boys in the streets, were all, to 
the very last degree, exasperating. A favorite doggerel 
that our tormentors chanted, when we appeared in 
public places, ran thus: 

Heigh! ho! in rain and snow, 
The bloomer now is all the go. 
Twenty tailors take the stitches, 
Twenty women wear the breeches. 
Heigh! ho! in rain or snow, 
The bloomer now is all the go. 

The singers were generally invisible behind some 
fence or attic window. Those who wore the dress can 
recall countless amusing and annoying experiences. 
The patience of most of us was exhausted in about two 
years; but our leader, Mrs. Miller, bravely adhered to 
the costume for nearly seven years, under the most 
trying circumstances. While her father was in Con- 
gress, she wore it at many fashionable dinners and 
receptions in Washington. She was bravely sustained, 

Reforms and Mobs 173 

however, by her husband, Colonel Miller, who never 
flinched in escorting his wife and her coadjutors, how- 
ever inartistic their costumes might be. Mrs. Miller 
was also encouraged by the intense feeling of her father 
on the question of woman's dress. To him the whole 
revolution in woman's position turned on her dress. 
The long skirt was the symbol of her degradation. 

The names of those who wore the bloomer costume, 
besides those already mentioned, were Paulina Wright 
Davis, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Sarah and 
Angelina Grimke, Mrs. William Burleigh, Celia Bur- 
leigh, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, Helen Jarvis, Lydia 
Jenkins, Amelia W 7 illard, Dr. Harriet N. Austin, and 
many patients in sanitariums, whose names I cannot 
recall. Looking back to this experiment, I am not 
surprised at the hostility of individual men to the dress, 
as it made it very uncomfortable for them to go any- 
where with those who wore it. People would stare, 
many make rude remarks, boys follow in crowds, with 
jeers and laughter, so that gentlemen in attendance 
would feel it their duty to show fight, unless they had 
sufficient self-control to pursue the even tenor of their 
way, as the ladies themselves did, without taking the 
slightest notice of the commotion created. Colonel 
Miller went through the ordeal with coolness and 
dogged determination, to the vexation of his acquaint- 
ances, who thought one of the duties of a husband was 
to prescribe his wife's costume. 

Though we did not realize the success we hoped for 
by making the dress popular, yet the effort was not 
lost. We were well aware that the dress was not 
artistic, and though we made many changes, our own 

174 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

good taste was never satisfied. After giving up the 
experiment, we found that the costume in which 
Diana the Huntress is represented, and that worn on 
the stage by Ellen Tree in the play of "Ion," would 
have been more artistic and as convenient. But we, 
who had made the experiment, were too happy to move 
about unnoticed and unknown, to risk, again, the 
happiness of ourselves and our friends by any further 
experiments. I have never wondered since that the 
Chinese women allow their daughters' feet to be 
encased in iron shoes, or that the Hindoo widows 
walk calmly to the funeral pyre; for great are the 
penalties of those who dare resist the behests of the 
tyrant Custom. 

It was while living in Seneca Falls, and at one of 
the most despairing periods of my young life, that 
one of the best gifts of the gods came to me in the form 
of a good, faithful housekeeper. She was indeed a 
treasure, a friend and comforter, a second mother to 
my children, and understood all life's duties and gladly 
bore its burdens. She could fill any department in 
domestic life, and for thirty years was the joy of our 
household. But for this noble, self-sacrificing woman, 
much of my public work would have been quite impos- 
sible. If by word or deed I have made the journey of 
life easier for any struggling soul, I must in justice 
share the meed of praise accorded me with my little 
Quaker friend Amelia Willard. 

There are two classes of housekeepers— one that will 
get what they want, if in the range of human possi- 
bilities, and then accept the inevitable inconveniences 
with cheerfulness and heroism; the other, from a kind 

Reforms and Mobs 175 

of chronic inertia and a fear of taking responsibility, 
accept everything as they find it, though with gentle, 
continuous complainings. The latter are called amiable 
women. Such a woman was our congressman's wife 
in 1854, and, as I was the reservoir of all her sorrows, 
great and small, I became very weary of her amiable 
non-resistance. Among other domestic trials, she had 
a kitchen stove that smoked and leaked, which could 
neither bake nor broil — a worthless thing — and too 
small for any purpose. Consequently half their viands 
were spoiled in the cooking, and the cooks left in 
disgust, one after another. 

In telling me, one day, of these kitchen misadven- 
tures, she actually shed tears, which so roused my 
sympathies that, with surprise, I exclaimed: "Why do 
you not buy a new stove?" To my unassisted common 
sense that seemed the most practical thing to do. 
"Why," she replied, "I have never purchased a darn- 
ing needle, to put the case strongly, without consulting 
Mr. S., and he does not think a new stove necessary." 
"What, pray," said I, "does he know about stoves, 
sitting in his easy-chair in Washington? If he had a 
dull old knife with broken blades, he would soon get a 
new one with which to sharpen his pens and pencils, 
and, if he attempted to cook a meal — granting he knew 
how — on your old stove, he would set it out of doors 
the next hour. Now my advice to you is to buy a new 
one this very day!" 

"Bless me!" she said, "that would make him furious; 
he would blow me sky-high." "Well," I replied, "sup- 
pose he did go into a regular tantrum and use all the 
most startling expletives in the vocabulary for fifteen 

176 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

minutes! What is that compared with a good stove 
365 days in the year? Just put all he could say on one 
side, and all the advantages you would enjoy on the 
other, and you must readily see that his wrath would 
kick the beam." As my logic was irresistible, she 
said, "Well, if you will go with me, and help select a 
stove, I think I will take the responsibility." 

Accordingly we went to the hardware store and 
selected the most approved, largest-sized stove, with 
all the best cooking utensils, best Russian pipe, etc. 
"Now," said she, "I am in equal need of a good stove 
in my sitting room, and I would like the pipes of both 
stoves to lead into dumb stoves above, and thus heat 
two or three rooms upstairs for my children to play 
in, as they have no place except the sitting room, 
where they must be always with me; but I suppose it 
is not best to do too much at one time." "On the 
contrary," I replied, "as your husband is wealthy, you 
had better get all you really need now. Mr. S. will 
probably be no more surprised with two stoves tban 
with one, and, as you expect a hot scene over the matter, 
the more you get out of it the better." 

So the stoves and pipes were ordered, holes cut 
through the ceiling, and all were in working order next 
day. The cook was delighted over her splendid stove 
and shining tins, copper-bottomed tea-kettle and boiler, 
and warm sleeping room upstairs; the children were 
delighted with their large playrooms, and madam jubi- 
lant with her added comforts and that newborn feeling 
of independence one has in assuming responsibility. 

She was expecting Mr. S. home in the holidays, and 
occasionally weakened at the prospect of what she 

Reforms and Mobs 177 

feared might be a disagreeable encounter. At such 
times she came to consult with me, as to what she 
would say and do when the crisis arrived. Having 
studied the genus homo alike on the divine heights of 
exaltation and in the valleys of humiliation, I was able 
to make some valuable suggestions. 

"Now," said I, "when your husband explodes, as 
you think he will, neither say nor do anything; sit and 
gaze out of the window with that far-away, sad look 
women know so well how to affect. If you can summon 
tears at pleasure, a few would not be amiss — a gentle 
shower, not enough to make tfre nose and eyes red or 
to detract from your beauty. Men cannot resist beauty 
and tears. Never mar their effect with anything bor- 
dering on sobs and hysteria; such violent manifesta- 
tions being neither refined nor artistic. A scene in 
which one person does the talking must be limited in 
time. No ordinary man can keep at white heat fifteen 
minutes; if his victim says nothing, he will soon exhaust 
himself. Remember, every time you speak in the 
way of defense, you give him a new text on which to 
branch out again. If silence is ever golden, it is when 
a husband is in a tantrum. " 

In due time Mr. S. arrived, laden with Christmas 
presents, and Charlotte came over to tell me that she 
had passed through the ordeal. I will give the scene 
in her own words as nearly as possible. "My husband 
came yesterday, just before dinner, and, as I expected 
him, I had all things in order. He seemed very 
happy to see me, and we had a gay time looking 
at our presents and chatting about Washington and 
all that had happened since we parted. It made me 

178 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

sad, in the midst of our happiness, to think how soon 
the current of his feelings would change, and I wished 
in my soul that I had not bought the stoves. But, at 
last, dinner was announced, and I knew that the hour 
had come. He ran upstairs to give a few touches to his 
toilet, when lo! the shining stoves and pipes caught his 
eyes. He explored the upper apartments and came 
down the back stairs, glanced at the kitchen stove, then 
into the dining room, and stood confounded, for a 
moment, before the nickel-plated * Morning Glory/ 
Then he exclaimed, 'Heavens and earth! Charlotte, 
what have you been doing?' I remembered what you 
told me and said nothing, but looked steadily out of 
the window. I summoned no tears, however, for I felt 
more like laughing than crying; he looked so ridiculous 
flying round spasmodically, like popcorn on a hot grid- 
dle, and talking as if making a stump speech on the 
corruptions of the Democrats. The first time he 
paused to take breath I said, in my softest tones: 'Wil- 
liam, dinner is waiting; I fear the soup will be cold.' 
Fortunately he was hungry, and that great central 
organ of life and happiness asserted its claims on his 
attention, and he took his seat at the table. I broke 
what might have been an awkward silence, chatting 
with the older children about their school lessons. 
Fortunately they were late, and did not know what had 
happened, so they talked to their father, and gradually 
restored his equilibrium. We had a very good dinner, 
and I have not heard a word about the stoves since. I 
suppose we shall have another scene when the bill is 
presented. " 
A few years later, Horace Greeley came to Seneca 

Reforms and Mobs 179 

Falls to lecture on temperance. As he stayed with us, 
we invited Mr. S., among others, to dinner. The chief 
topic at the table was the idiosyncrasies of women. 
Mr. Greeley told many amusing things about his wife, 
of her erratic movements and sudden decisions to do 
and dare what seemed most impracticable. Perhaps, 
on rising some morning, she would say: "I think I'll 
go to Europe by the next steamer, Horace. Will you 
get tickets to-day for me, the nurse, and children ?" 
"Well," said Mr. S., "she must be something like our 
hostess. Every time her husband goes away she cuts 
a door or window. They have only ten doors to lock 
every night, now." 

"Yes," I said, "and your own wife, too, Mrs. S., has 
the credit of some high-handed measures when you are 
in Washington." Then I told the whole story, amid 
peals of laughter, just as related above. The dinner 
table scene fairly convulsed the Congressman. The 
thought that he had made such a fool of himself in the 
eyes of Charlotte that she could not even summon a 
tear in her defense, particularly pleased him. When 
sufficiently recovered to speak, he said: "Well, I never 
could understand how it was that Charlotte suddenly 
emerged from her thraldom and manifested such rare 
executive ability. Now I see to whom I am indebted 
for the most comfortable part of my married life. I 
am a thousand times obliged to you; you did just right 
and so did she, and she has been a happier woman ever 
since. She now gets what she needs, and frets no more, 
to me, about ten thousand little things. How can a 
man know what implements are necessary for the work 
he never does? Of all agencies for upsetting the 

180 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

equanimity of family life, none can surpass an old, 
broken-down kitchen stove!" 

In the winter of 1861, just after the election of Lin- 
coln, the abolitionists decided to hold a series of con- 
ventions in the chief cities of the North. All their 
available speakers were pledged for active service. 
The Republican party, having absorbed the political 
abolitionists within its ranks by its declared hostility 
to the extension of slavery, had come into power with 
overwhelming majorities. Hence the Garrisonian 
abolitionists, opposed to all compromises, felt that 
this was the opportune moment to rouse the people to 
the necessity of holding that party to its declared 
principles, and pushing it, if possible, a step or two 

I was invited to accompany Beriah Green to a few 
points in Central New York. But we soon found, by 
the concerted action of Republicans all over the coun- 
try, that antislavery conventions would not be tolerated. 
Thus Republicans and Democrats made common cause 
against the abolitionists. The John Brown raid, the 
year before, had intimidated Northern politicians as 
much as Southern slaveholders, and the general feeling 
was that the discussion of the question at the North 
should be altogether suppressed. 

From Buffalo to Albany our experience was the same, 
varied only by the fertile resources of the actors and 
their surroundings. Thirty years of education had 
somewhat changed the character of Northern mobs. 
They no longer dragged men through the streets with 
ropes around their necks, nor broke up women's prayer 
meetings; they no longer threw eggs and brickbats 

Reforms and Mobs 181 

at the apostles of reform, nor dipped them in barrels 
of tar and feathers; they simply crowded the halls, and, 
with laughing, groaning, clapping, and cheering, effec- 
tually interrupted the proceedings. Such was our 
experience during the two days we attempted to hold 
a convention in St. James' Hall, Buffalo. As we paid 
for the hall, the mob enjoyed themselves, at our expense, 
in more ways than one. Every session, at the appointed 
time, we took our places on the platform, making, at 
various intervals of silence, renewed efforts to speak. 
Not succeeding, we sat and conversed with each other 
and the many friends who crowded the platform and 
anterooms. Thus, among ourselves, we had a pleasant 
reception, and a discussion of many phases of the 
question that brought us together. The mob not 
only vouchsafed to us the privilege of talking to our 
friends without interruption, but delegations of their 
own came behind the scenes, from time to time, to 
discuss with us the right of free speech and the con- 
stitutionality of slavery. 

These Buffalo rowdies were headed by ex-Justice 
Hinson, aided by younger members of the Fillmore and 
Seymour families, and the chief of police and fifty sub- 
ordinates, who were admitted to the hall free, for the 
express purpose of protecting our right of free speech, 
but who, in defiance of the mayor's orders, made not 
the slightest effort in our defense. At Lockport there 
was a feeble attempt in the same direction. At Albion 
neither hall, church, nor schoolhouse could be obtained, 
so we held small meetings in the dining room of the 
hotel. At Rochester, Corinthian Hall was packed 
long before the hour advertised. This was a delicately 

1 82 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

appreciative, jocose mob. At this point Aaron Powell 
joined us. As he had just risen from a bed of sickness, 
looking pale and emaciated, he slowly mounted the 
platform. The mob at once took in his look of exhaus- 
tion, and, as he seated himself, they gave an audible 
simultaneous sigh, as if to say, what a relief it is to be 
seated! So completely did the tender manifestation 
reflect Mr. Powell's apparent condition that the whole 
audience burst into a roar of laughter. Here, too, all 
attempts to speak were futile. At Port Byron a 
generous sprinkling of cayenne pepper on the stove 
soon cut short all constitutional arguments and paeans 
to liberty. 

And so it was all the way to Albany. The whole 
state was aflame with the mob spirit, and from Boston 
and various points in other states the same news 
reached us. As the legislature was in session, and we 
were advertised in Albany, a radical member sarcasti- 
cally moved "That as Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony 
were about to move on Albany, the militia be ordered 
out for the protection of the city." Happily, Albany 
could then boast of a Democratic mayor, a man of 
courage and conscience, who said the right of free 
speech should never be trodden under foot where he 
had the power to prevent it. And grandly did that 
one determined man maintain order in his jurisdic- 
tion. Through all the sessions of the convention 
Mayor Thatcher sat on the platform; his police sta- 
tioned in different parts of the hall and outside the 
building, to disperse the crowd as fast as it collected. 
If a man or boy hissed or made the slightest interrup- 
tion, he was immediately ejected. And not only did 

Reforms and Mobs 183 

the mayor preserve order in the meetings, but, with a 
company of armed police, he escorted us, every time, 
to and from the Delevan House. The last night 
Gerrit Smith addressed the mob from the steps of the 
hotel, after which they gave him three cheers and 
dispersed in good order. 

When proposing for the mayor a vote of thanks, at 
the close of the convention, Mr. Smith expressed his 
fears that it had been a severe ordeal for him to listen 
to these prolonged antislavery discussions. He smiled, 
and said: "I have really been deeply interested and 
instructed. I rather congratulate myself that a con- 
vention of this character has, at last, come in the line 
of my business; otherwise I should have probably 
remained in ignorance of many important facts and 
opinions I now understand and appreciate." 

Chapter XIII : Views on Marriage and 


THE widespread discussion we are having just 
now on the subject of marriage and divorce, 
reminds me of an equally exciting one in i860. 
A very liberal bill, introduced into the Indiana legis- 
lature by Robert Dale Owen, and which passed by a 
large majority, roused much public thought on the 
question, and made that state free soil for unhappy 
wives and husbands. A similar bill was introduced 
into the legislature of New York by Mr. Ramsey, 
which was defeated by four votes, owing, mainly, to 
the intense opposition of Horace Greeley. He and 
Mr. Owen had a prolonged discussion, in the New 
York Tribune, in which Mr. Owen got decidedly the 
better of the argument. 

There had been several aggravated cases of cruelty 
to wives among the Dutch aristocracy, so that strong 
influences in favor of the bill had been brought to bear 
on the legislature, but the Tribune thundered every 
morning in its editorial column its loudest peals, which 
reverberated through the state. So bitter was the 
opposition to divorce, for any cause, that but few 
dared to take part in the discussion. I was the only 
woman, for many years, who wrote and spoke on the 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 185 

My feelings had been stirred to their depths very 
early in life by the sufferings of a dear friend of mine, 
at whose wedding I was one of the bridesmaids. In 
listening to the facts in her case, my mind was fully 
made up as to the wisdom of a liberal divorce law. 
We read Milton's essays on divorce, together, and were 
thoroughly convinced as to the right and duty not only 
of separation, but of absolute divorce. While the New 
York bill was pending, I was requested by Lewis Ben- 
edict, one of the committee who had the bill in charge, 
to address the legislature. I gladly accepted, feeling 
that here was an opportunity not only to support my 
friend in the step she had taken, but to make the path 
clear for other unhappy wives who might desire to fol- 
low her example. I had no thought of the persecution 
I was drawing down on myself for thus attacking so 
venerable an institution. I was always courageous in 
saying what I saw to be true, for the simple reason that 
I never dreamed of opposition. What seemed to me 
to be right I thought must be equally plain to all other 
rational beings. Hence I had no dread of denunciation. 
I was only surprised when I encountered it, and no 
number of experiences have, as yet, taught me to fear 
public opinion. What I said on divorce thirty-seven 
years ago seems quite in line with what many say now. 
The trouble was not in what I said, but that I said it 
too soon, 1 and before the people were ready to hear it. 
It may be, however, that I helped them to get ready; 
who knows? 

Those of us who met in Albany talked the matter 

1 This early interest is shown in the letters of August 14, 1853, October 22, 
1856, and July 20, 1857. 

1 86 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

over in regard to a free discussion of the divorce ques- 
tion at the coming convention in New York. It was 
the opinion of those present that, as the laws on mar- 
riage and divorce were very unequal for man and 
woman, this was a legitimate subject for discussion on 
our platform; accordingly I presented a series of reso- 
lutions, at the annual convention, to which I spoke 
for over an hour. I was followed by Antoinette L. 
Brown, who also presented a series of resolutions in 
opposition to mine. She was, in turn, answered by 
Ernestine L. Rose. Wendell Phillips then arose, and 
in an impressive manner pronounced the whole dis- 
cussion irrelevant to our platform, and moved that 
neither the speeches nor resolutions go on the records 
of the convention. As I greatly admired Wendell 
Phillips, and appreciated his good opinion, I was 
surprised and humiliated to find myself under the 
ban of his disapprobation. 1 My face was scarlet, and 
I trembled with mingled feelings of doubt and fear — 
doubt as to the wisdom of my position, and fear lest the 
convention should repudiate the whole discussion. My 
emotion was so apparent that Rev. Samuel Longfellow, 
a brother of the poet, who sat beside me, whispered in 
my ear, "Nevertheless you are right, and the conven- 
tion will sustain you." 

When the question was finally put, on the motion 
of Mr. Phillips, it was lost. 

As Mr. Greeley, in commenting on the convention, 
took the same ground with Mr. Phillips, that the laws 
on marriage and divorce were equal for man and 

1 This disagreement is made clear in the letters of June 2, June 14, August 
18, i860. 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 187 

woman, I answered in the following letter to the New 
York Tribune: 

To the Editor of the New York Tribune: 

Sir, — At our recent National Woman's Rights Convention 
many were surprised to hear Wendell Phillips object to the question 
of marriage and divorce as irrelevant to our platform. He said: 
"We had no right to discuss here any laws or customs but those 
where inequality existed for the sexes; that the laws on marriage 
and divorce rested equally on man and woman; that he suffers, as 
much as she possibly could, the wrongs and abuses of an ill-assorted 

Now it must strike every careful thinker that an immense differ- 
ence rests in the fact that man has made the laws cunningly and 
selfishly for his own purpose. From Coke down to Kent, who 
can cite one clause of the marriage contract where woman has the 
advantage? When man surfers from false legislation he has his 
remedy in his own hands. Shall woman be denied the right ot 
protest against laws in which she had no voice; laws which out- 
rage the holiest affections of her nature; laws which transcend the 
limits of human legislation, in a convention called for the express 
purpose of considering her wrongs? He might as well object to 
a protest against the injustice of hanging a woman, because capital 
punishment bears equally on man and woman. 

The contract of marriage is by no means equal. The law per- 
mits the girl to marry at twelve years of age, while it requires 
several years more of experience on the part of the boy. In enter- 
ing this compact, the man gives up nothing that he before pos- 
sessed; he is a man still; while the legal existence of the woman 
is suspended during marriage, and, henceforth, she is known but 
in and through the husband. She is nameless, purseiess, child- 
less — though a woman, an heiress, and a mother. 

Blackstone says: "The husband and wife are one, and that one 
is the husband." Chancellor Kent, in his "Commentaries," says: 
"The legal effects of marriage are generally deducible from the 
principle of the common law, by which the husband and wife are 
regarded as one person, and her legal existence and authority lost 
cr suspended during the continuance of the matrimonial union." 

The wife is regarded by all legal authorities as a femme covert, 
placed wholly sub potestate viri. Her moral responsibility, even, 
is merged in her husband. The law takes it for granted that the 
1.— 13 

1 88 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

wife lives in fear of her husband; that his command is her highest 
law; hence a wife is not punishable for the theft committed in the 
presence of her husband. An unmarried woman can make con- 
tracts, sue and be sued, enjoy the rights of property, to her inher- 
itance — to her wages — to her person — to her children; but, in 
marriage, she is robbed by law of all and every natural and civil 
right. Kent further says: "The disability of the wife to contract, 
so as to bind herself, arises not from want of discretion, but because 
she has entered into an indissoluble connection by which she is 
placed under the power and protection of her husband." She is 
possessed of certain rights until she is married; then all are sus- 
pended, to revive, again, the moment the breath goes out ot the 
husband's body. (See Coweris Treatise, vol. 2, p. 709.) 

If the contract be equal, whence come the terms "marital power,'* 
"marital rights," "obedience and restraint," "dominion and 
control," "power and protection," etc., etc.? Many cases are 
stated, showing the exercise of a most questionable power over 
the wife, sustained by the courts. (See "Bishop on Divorce," 
p. 489.) 

The laws on divorce are quite as unequal as those on marriage; 
yea, far more so. The advantages seem to be all on one side and 
the penalties on the other. In case of divorce, if the husband be 
not the guilty party, the wife goes out of the partnership penni- 
less. (Kent, vol. 2, p. 33; "Bishop on Divorce," p. 492.) 

In New York, and some other states, the wife of the guilty hus- 
band can now sue for a divorce in her own name, and the costs 
come out of the husband's estate; but in the majority of the states 
she is still compelled to sue in the name of another, as she has no 
means for paying costs, even though she may have brought her 
thousands into the partnership. "The allowance to the innocent 
wife of ad interim alimony and money to sustain the suit, is not 
regarded as a strict right in her, but of sound discretion in the 
court." ("Bishop on Divorce," p. 581.) 

"Many jurists," says Kent, "are of opinion that the adultery 
of the husband ought not to be noticed or made subject to the 
same animadversions as that of the wife, because it is not evidence 
of such entire depravity nor equally injurious in its effects upon 
the morals, good order, and happiness of the domestic life. Mon- 
tesquieu, Pothier, and Doctor Taylor all insist that the cases of 
husband and wife ought to be distinguished, and that the viola- 
tion of the marriage vow, on the part of the wife, is the most mis- 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 189 

chievous, and the prosecution ought to be confined to the offense 
on her part." {Esprit des Lois, torn. 3, 186; Traite du Contrat 
de Mariage, No. 516; Elements of Civil Law, p. 254.) 

Say you, "These are but the opinions of men." On what else, 
I ask, are the hundreds of women depending, who, this hour, 
demand in our courts a release from burdensome contracts? Are 
not these delicate matters left wholly to the discretion of courts? 
Are not young women from the first families dragged into our 
courts — into assemblies of men exclusively — the judges all men, 
the jurors all men? No true woman there to shield them, by her 
presence, from gross and impertinent questionings, to pity their 
misfortunes, or to protest against their wrongs? 

The administration of justice depends far more on the opinions 
of eminent jurists than on law alone, for law is powerless when 
at variance with public sentiment. 

Do not the above citations clearly prove inequality? Are not 
the very letter and spirit of the marriage contract based on the 
idea of the supremacy of man as the keeper of woman's virtue — 
her sole protector and support? Out of marriage, woman asks 
nothing, at this hour, but the elective franchise. It is only in 
marriage that she must demand her right to person, children, 
property, wages, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How 
can we discuss all the laws and conditions of marriage without 
perceiving its essential essence, end, and aim? Now, whether 
the institution of marriage be human or divine, whether regarded 
as indissoluble by ecclesiastical courts or dissoluble by civil courts, 
woman, finding herself equally degraded in each and every phase 
of it, always the victim of the institution, it is her right and her 
duty to sift the relation and the compact through and through, 
until she finds out the true cause of her false position. How can 
we go before the legislatures of our respective states and demand 
new laws, or no laws, on divorce, until we have some idea of what 
the true relation is? 

We decide the whole question of slavery by settling the sacred 
rights of the individual. We assert that man cannot hold property 
in man, and reject the whole code of laws that conflicts with the 
self-evident truth of the assertion. 

Again, I ask, is it possible to discuss all the laws of a relation, 
and not touch the relation itself? 

Yours respectfully, 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 

190 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The discussion on the question of marriage and 

divorce occupied one entire session of the convention, 
and called down on us severe criticisms from the metro- 
politan and state press. So alarming were the com- 
ments on what had been said that I began to feel that 
I had inadvertently taken out the underpinning from 
the social system. Enemies were unsparing in their 
denunciations, and friends ridiculed the whole proceed- 
ing. I was constantly called on for a definition of mar- 
riage, and asked to describe home life as it would be 
when men changed their wives every Christmas, bet- 
ters and newspapers poured in upon me, asking all 
manner of absurd que8tion8. So many things, that 1 
had neither thought nor said, were attributed to me 
that, at times, I really doubted my own identity. 

However, in the progress of events the excitement 
died away; the earth seemed to turn on its axis as usual, 
women were given in marriage, children were born, fires 
burned as brightly as ever at the domestic altars, and 
family life, to all appearances, was as stable as usual. 

Public attention was again roused to this subject by 
the McFarland-Richardson trial, in which the former 
shot the latter, being jealous of his attentions to his 
wife. McFarland was a brutal, improvident husband, 
who had completely alienated his wife's affections, 
while Mr. Richardson, who had long been a cherished 
acquaintance of the family, befriended the wife in the 
darkest days of her misery. She was a very refined, 
attractive woman, and a large circle of warm friends 
stood by her through the fierce ordeal of her husband's 

Though McFarland did not deny that he killed 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 191 

Richardson, yet he was acquitted on the plea of insanity, 
and was, at the same time, made the legal guardian of 
his child, a boy, then twelve years of age, and walked 
out of the court with him, hand in hand. What a 
travesty on justice and common sense, that, while a 
man is declared too insane to be held responsible for 
taking the life of another, he might still be capable of 
directing the life and education of a child! And what 
an insult to that intelligent mother, who had devoted 
twelve years of her life to his care, while his worthless 
father had not provided for him the necessaries of life! 

She married Mr. Richardson on his deathbed. The 
ceremony was performed by Henry Ward Beecher and 
Rev. O. B. Frothingham, while such men as Horace 
Greeley and Joshua Leavitt witnessed the solemn 
service. Though no shadow had ever dimmed Mrs. 
Richardson's fair fame, yet she was rudely treated in 
the court and robbed of her child, though by far the 
most fitting parent to be intrusted with his care. 

As the indignation among women was general and 
at white heat with regard to her treatment, it was a 
golden opportunity to give women a lesson on their 
helplessness under the law — wholly in the power of 
man as to their domestic relations, as well as to their 
civil and political rights. Accordingly it was decided 
to hold some meetings, for women alone, to protest 
against the decision of this trial, the general conduct 
of the case, the tone of the press, and the laws that 
made it possible to rob a mother of her child. 

Many ladies readily enlisted in the movement. I 
was invited to make the speech of the occasion at two 
great meetings, one in Apollo Hall, New York City, 

192 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and one in the Academy of Music, in Brooklyn. The 
result was all that we could have desired. 

My latest thought on this question I gave in The 
Arena of April, 1894, from which I quote the following: 

There is a demand just now for an amendment to the United 
States Constitution that shall make the laws of marriage and 
divorce the same in all the States of the Union. As the suggestion 
comes uniformly from those who consider the present divorce laws 
too liberal, we may infer that the proposed national law is to place 
the whole question on a narrower basis, rendering null and void 
the laws that have been passed in a broader spirit, according to 
the needs and experiences in certain sections of the sovereign 
people. And here let us bear in mind that the widest possible 
law would not make divorce obligatory on anyone, while a restricted 
law, on the contrary, would compel many, marrying, perhaps, 
under more liberal laws, to remain in uncongenial relations. 

As we are still in the experimental stage on this question, we 
are not qualified to make a perfect law that would work satis- 
factorily over so vast an area as our boundaries now embrace. I 
see no evidence in what has been published on this question of late, 
by statesmen, ecclesiastics, lawyers, and judges, that any of them 
have thought sufficiently on the subject to prepare a well-digested 
code, or a comprehensive amendment to the national Constitution. 

Moreover, as woman is the most important factor in the mar- 
riage relation, her enfranchisement is the primal step in deciding 
the basis of family life. Before public opinion on this question 
crystallizes into an amendment to the national Constitution, the 
wife and mother must have a voice in the governing power and 
must be heard, on this great problem, in the halls of legislation. 

There are many advantages in leaving all these questions, as 
now, to the states. Local self-government more readily permits 
of experiments on mooted questions, which are the outcome of 
the needs and convictions of the community. The smaller the 
area over which legislation extends, the more pliable are the laws. 
By leaving the States free to experiment in their local affairs, we 
can judge of the working of different laws under varying circum- 
stances, and thus learn their comparative merits. The whole 
nation might find itself pledged to a scheme that a few years would 
prove wholly impracticable. Not only is the town meeting, as 

Views on Marriage and Divorce 193 

Emerson says, "the cradle of American liberties," but local gov- 
ernment is the nursery of Yankee experiment and wisdom. 

Before we can decide the just grounds for divorce, we must get 
a clear idea of what constitutes marriage. In a true relation the 
chief object is the loving companionship of man and woman, their 
capacity for mutual help and happiness, and for the development 
of all that is noblest in each other. The second object is the 
building up a home and family, a place of rest, peace, security, 
in which child-life can bud and blossom like flowers in the sunshine. 
The first step toward making the ideal the real, is to educate our 
sons and daughters into the most exalted ideas of the sacredness 
of married life and the responsibilities of parenthood. I would 
have them give, at least, as much thought to the creation of an 
immortal being as the artist gives to his landscape or statue. 

Having decided that companionship and conscientious parent- 
hood are the only true grounds for marriage, if the relation brings 
out the worst characteristics of each party, or if the home atmos- 
phere is unwholesome for children, is not the very raison d'etre of 
the union wanting, and the marriage practically annulled? It 
cannot be called a holy relation — no, nor a desirable one — when 
love and mutual respect are wanting. And let us bear in mind 
one other important fact: the lack of sympathy and content in 
the parents indicates radical physical unsuitability, which results 
in badly organized offspring. If, then, the real object of marriage 
is defeated, it is for the interest of the State, as well as the indi- 
vidual concerned, to see that all such pernicious unions be legally 
dissolved. Inasmuch, then, as incompatibility of temper defeats 
the two great objects of marriage, it should be the primal cause for 

The true standpoint from which to view this question is indi- 
vidual sovereignty, individual happiness. It is often said that 
the interests of society are paramount, and first to be considered. 
This was the Roman idea, the Pagan idea — that the individual 
was made for the State. The central idea of barbarism has ever 
been the family, the tribe, the nation — never the individual. But 
the great doctrine of Christianity is the right of individual conscience 
and judgment. The reason it took such a hold on the hearts of 
the people was because it taught that the individual was primary; 
the State, the Church, society, the family, secondary. However, 
a comprehensive view of any question of human interest shows 
that the highest good and happiness of the individual and society 
lie in the same direction. 

194 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

If divorce were made respectable, and recognized by society 
as a duty, as well as a right, reasonable men and women could 
arrange all the preliminaries, often even the division of property 
and guardianship of children, quite as satisfactorily as it could be 
done in the courts. Where the mother is capable of training the 
children, a sensible father would leave them to her care rather 
than place them in the hands of a stranger. 

But where divorce is not respectable, men who have no paternal 
feeling will often hold the child, not so much for its good or his 
own affection, as to punish the wife for disgracing him. The love 
of children is not strong in most men, and they feel but little respon- 
sibility in regard to them. See how readily they turn off young 
sons to shift for themselves, and unless the law compelled them 
to support their illegitimate children they would never give them 
a second thought. But on the mother-soul rests forever the care 
and responsibility of human life. Her love for the child born out 
of wedlock is often intensified by the infinite pity she feels through 
its disgrace. Even among the lower animals we find the female 
ever brooding over the young and helpless. 

Limiting the causes of divorce to physical defects or delinquencies; 
making the proceedings public; prying into all the personal affairs 
of unhappy men and women; regarding the step as quasi criminal; 
punishing the guilty party in the suit; all this will not strengthen 
frail human nature, will not insure happy homes, will not banish 
scandals and purge society of prostitution. 

No, no; the enemy of marriage, of the State, of society is not 
liberal divorce laws, but the unhealthy atmosphere that exists in 
the home itself. A legislative act cannot make a unit of a divided 

Chapter XIV: Women as Patriots 

ON April 15, i86i,the President of the United 
States called out seventy-five thousand militia, 
and summoned Congress to meet July 4, when 
four hundred thousand men were called for, and four 
hundred millions of dollars were voted to suppress the 

These startling events roused the entire people, and 
turned the current of their thoughts in new directions. 
While the nation's life hung in the balance, and the 
dread artillery of war drowned, alike, the voices of 
commerce, politics, religion, and reform, all hearts 
were filled with anxious forebodings, all hands were 
busy in solemn preparations for the awful tragedies 
to come. 

At this eventful hour the patriotism of woman shone 
forth as fervently and spontaneously as did that of man; 
and her self-sacrifice and devotion were displayed in as 
many varied fields of action. While he buckled on his 
knapsack and marched forth, she planned the cam- 
paigns which brought the nation victory; fought in 
the ranks, when she could do so without detection; 
inspired the sanitary commission; gathered needed 
supplies for the army; provided nurses for the hos- 
pitals; comforted the sick; smoothed the pillows of 
the dying; inscribed the last messages of love to those 

196 EHzabeth Cady Stanton 

far away; and marked the resting places where the 
brave men fell. The labor women accomplished, 
the hardships they endured, the time and strength 
they sacrificed in the War that summoned three million 
men to arms, can never be fully appreciated. 

Indeed, we may safely say that there is scarcely a 
woman who did not do something in aid of the cause; 
who did not contribute time, labor, and money to the 
comfort of our soldiers and the success of our arms. 
The story of the War will never be fully written if the 
achievements of women are left untold. They do not 
figure in the official reports; they are not gazetted for 
gallant deeds; the names of thousands are unknown 
beyond the neighborhood where they lived, or the 
hospitals where they loved to labor; yet there is no 
feature in our War more creditable to us as a nation, 
none from its positive newness so well worthy of 

While the mass of women never philosophize on the 
principles that underlie national existence, there were 
those in our late War who understood the political 
significance of the struggle. They saw that to provide 
lint, bandages, and supplies for the army, while the 
War was not conducted on a wise policy, was to labor 
in vain; and while many organizations, active, vigilant, 
and self-sacrificing, were multiplied to look after the 
material wants of the army, these few formed them- 
selves into a National Loyal League, to teach sound 
principles of government and to impress on the nation's 
conscience that freedom for the slaves was the only 
way to victory. Accustomed, as most women had 
been, to works of charity and to the relief of outward 

Women as Patriots 197 

suffering, it was difficult to rouse their enthusiasm for 
an idea, to persuade them to labor for a principle. 
They clamored for practical work, something for 
their hands to do; for fairs and sewing societies to 
raise money for soldiers' families, for tableaux, read- 
ings, theatricals — anything but conventions to discuss 
principles and to circulate petitions for emancipation. 
This Woman's Loyal League voiced the solemn lessons 
of the War: Liberty to all; national protection for 
every citizen under our flag; universal suffrage, and 
universal amnesty. 

After consultation with Horace Greeley, William 
Lloyd Garrison, Governor Andrews, and Robert Dale 
Owen, it was decided to call a meeting of women in 
Cooper Institute and form a Woman's Loyal League, 1 
to advocate the immediate emancipation as the most 
speedy way of ending the War; so we issued, in tract 
form, and extensively circulated the following call: 

In this crisis of our country's destiny it is the duty of every 
citizen to consider the peculiar blessings of a republican form of 
government, and decide what sacrifices of wealth and life are 
demanded for its defense and preservation. The policy of the 
war, our whole future life, depend on a clearly defined idea of the 
end proposed and the immense advantages to be secured to our- 
selves and all mankind by its accomplishment. No mere party 
or sectional cry, no technicalities of constitutional or military law, 
no mottoes of craft or policy are big enough to touch the great 
heart of a nation in the midst of revolution. A grand idea — such 
as freedom or justice — is needful to kindle and sustain the fires 
of a high enthusiasm. 

At this hour, the best word and work of every man and woman 
are imperatively demanded. To man, by common consent, are 
assigned the forum, camp, and field. What is woman's legitimate 
work, and how she may best accomplish it, is worthy our earnest 

1 Letters February 22, June 2 and September 1, 1863. 

198 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

counsel one with another. We have heard many complaints of 
the lack of enthusiasm among Northern women; but when a 
mother lays her son on the altar of her country she asks an object 
equal to the sacrifice. In nursing the sick and wounded, knitting 
socks, scraping lint, and making jellies, the bravest and best may 
weary if the thoughts mount not in faith to something beyond 
and above it all. Work is worship only when a noble purpose 
fills the soul. Woman is equally interested and responsible with 
man in the final settlement of this problem of self-government; 
therefore let none stand idle spectators now. When every hour 
is big with destiny, and each delay but complicates our difficulties, 
it is] high time for the daughters of the Revolution, in solemn 
council, to unseal the last will and testament of the fathers, lay 
hold of their birthright of freedom, and keep it a sacred trust for 
all coming generations. 

To this end we ask the Loyal Women of the Nation to meet in 
the Church of the Puritans, New York, on Thursday, the 14th 
of May next. 

Let the women of every State be largely represented in person 
or by letter. 

On behalf of the Woman's Central Committee, 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 
Susan B. Anthony. 

Among other resolutions adopted at the meeting 
were the following: 

Resolved, There never can be a true peace in this Republic until 
the civil and political rights of all citizens are established. 

Resolved, That the women of the Revolution were not wanting 
in heroism and self-sacrifice, and we, their daughters, are ready, 
in this War, to pledge our time, our means, our talents, and our 
lives, if need be, to secure the final and complete consecration of 
America to freedom. 

It was agreed that the practical work to be done to 
secure freedom for the slaves was to circulate petitions 
through all the Northern states. For months these 
petitions were circulated diligently everywhere, as the 
signatures show — some signed on fence posts, plows, 

Women as Patriots 199 

the anvil, the shoemaker's bench — by women of 
fashion and those in the industries, alike in the parlor 
and the kitchen; by statesmen, professors in colleges, 
editors, bishops; by sailors, and soldiers, and the 
hard-handed children of toil, building railroads and 
bridges, and digging canals, and in mines in the bowels 
of the earth. Petitions, signed by three hundred 
thousand persons, can now be seen in the national 
archives in the Capitol at Washington. Three of my 
sons spent weeks in our office in Cooper Institute, 
rolling up the petitions from each state separately, 
and inscribing on the outside the number of names of 
men and women contained therein. We sent appeals 
to the President, the House of Representatives, and 
the Senate, from time to time, urging emancipation 
and the passage of the proposed Thirteenth Amend- 
ment to the National Constitution. During these 
eventful months we received many letters from Senator 
Sumner, saying, "Send on the petitions as fast as 
received; they give me opportunities for speech." 

Those who had been specially engaged in the Woman 
Suffrage movement suspended their conventions dur- 
ing the war, and gave their time and thought wholly 
to the vital issue of the hour. Seeing the political 
significance of the war, they urged the emancipation 
of the slaves as the sure, quick way of cutting the 
Gordian knot of the Rebellion. Tracts and forms 
of petition, franked by members of Congress, were 
scattered like snowflakes from Maine to Texas. Meet- 
ings were held every week, in which the policy of the 
government was freely discussed, and approved or 

200 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

That this League did a timely educational work is 
manifested by the letters received from generals, 
statesmen, editors, and from women in most of the 
Northern states, fully indorsing its action and prin- 
ciples. The clearness of thought in women as to 
the cause of the War; their opinion as to the true 
policy in waging it; their steadfastness in main- 
taining the principles of freedom, are worthy of 
consideration. With this League abolitionists and 
Republicans heartily co-operated. A course of lec- 
tures was delivered for its benefit in Cooper Institute, 
by such men as Horace Greeley, George W T illiam Curtis, 
William D. Kelly, Wendell Phillips, E. P. Whipple, 
Frederick Douglass, Theodore D. Weld, Rev. Dr. 
Tyng, and Doctor Bellows. Many letters are on its 
files from Charles Sumner, approving its measures, 
and expressing great satisfaction at the large number 
of emancipation petitions being rolled into Congress. 
The Republican press, too, was highly complimentary. 
The New York Tribune said: "The women of the 
Loyal League have shown great practical wisdom in 
restricting their efforts to one subject, the most impor- 
tant which any society can aim at in this hour, and 
great courage in undertaking to do what never has 
been done in the world before, to obtain one million 
of names to a petition. " 

The leading journals vied with each other in praising 
the patience and prudence, the executive ability, the 
loyalty, and the patriotism of the women of the League, 
and yet these were the same women who, when demand- 
ing civil and political rights, privileges, and immunities 
for themselves, had been uniformly denounced as 

Women as Patriots 201 

"unwise," "imprudent," "fanatical," and "imprac- 
ticable." During the years they held their own claims 
in abeyance and labored to inspire the people with 
enthusiasm for the great measure of the Republican 
party, they were highly honored as "wise, loyal, and 
clear-sighted." But when emancipation was achieved 
by the ratification of the XIII Amendment, and these 
women asked that they themselves should be recog- 
nized in the reconstruction as citizens of the Republic, 
equal before the law, all these transcendent virtues 
vanished like dew before the morning sun. 1 And thus 
it ever is: so long as woman labors to second man's 
endeavors and exalt his sex above her own, her virtues 
pass unquestioned; but when she dares to demand 
rights and privileges for herself, her motives, manners, 
dress, personal appearance, and character are subjects 
for ridicule and detraction. 

Liberty, victorious on the battlefield, had now more 
powerful enemies to encounter at Washington. Recon- 
struction involved the reconsideration of the funda- 
mental principles of our government and the natural 
rights of man. The nation's heart was thrilled with 
prolonged debates in Congress and State legislatures, 
in the pulpits and public journals, and at every fireside, 
on these vital questions, which took final shape in the 
three historic amendments to the Constitution. 

The first point, his emancipation, settled, the political 
status of the negro was next in order; and to this end 
various propositions were submitted to Congress. But 
to demand his enfranchisement on the broad principle 
of natural rights was hedged about with difficulties, 

1 Letters January 13, 1868; January 8, September 9, 1869. 

202 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

as the logical result of such action must be the enfran- 
chisement of all ostracized classes. Though our sen- 
ators and representatives had an honest aversion to 
any proscriptive legislation against women, in view 
of their varied and self-sacrificing work during the War, 
yet the only way they could open the constitutional 
door just wide enough to let the black man pass in 
was to introduce the word "male" into the national 
Constitution. After the generous devotion of such 
women as Anna Carroll and Anna Dickinson in sus- 
taining the policy of the Republicans, both in peace 
and war, they felt it would come with a bad grace 
from that party to place new barriers in woman's path 
to freedom. But how could the amendment be written 
without the word "male" was the question. 

Robert Dale Owen being at Washington, and behind 
the scenes at the time, sent copies of the various bills 
to the officers of the Loyal League, in New York, and 
related to us some of the amusing discussions. One 
member of the committee proposed "persons" instead 
of "males." "That will never do," said another, "it 
would enfranchise wenches." "Suffrage for black men 
will be all the strain the Republican party can stand," 
said a third. Charles Sumner declared, years after- 
ward, that he wrote over nineteen pages of foolscap 
to get rid of the word "male" and yet keep "negro 
suffrage" as a party measure intact; but it could not 
be done. 

The full significance of the word "male" in the 
Fourteenth Amendment was at once seen, and we 
sounded the alarm. 1 Miss Anthony and I spent all our 

1 Letters May 25, August II, December 26, 1865. 

Women as Patriots 203 

Christmas holidays in writing letters * and addressing 
appeals and petitions to every part of the country, and, 
before the close of the session of 1865-66, petitions 
with ten thousand signatures were poured into Congress. 
One of my letters was as follows : 

To the Editor of the Standard : 

Sir: Mr. Broomall of Pennsylvania, Mr. Schenck of Ohio, Mr. 
Jenckes of Rhode Island, and Mr. Stevens of Pennsylvania, have 
each a resolution before Congress to amend the Constitution. 

Article First, Section Second, reads thus: "Representatives and 
direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may 
be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers." 

Mr. Broomall proposes to amend by saying, "male electors"; 
Mr. Schenck, "male citizens"; Mr. Jenckes, "male citizens"; 
Mr. Stevens, "male voters." In process of time women may 
be made "legal voters" in the several States, and would then 
meet that requirement of the Constitution; but those urged by 
the other gentlemen, neither time, effort, nor State Constitutions 
could enable us to meet. Mr. Jenckes and Mr. Schenck, in their 
bills, have the grace not to say a word about taxes, remembering, 
perhaps, that "taxation without representation is tyranny." But 
Mr. Broomall, though unwilling that women should share in the 
honors of government, would fain secure us a place in its burdens; 
for, while he apportions representatives to "male electors" only, he 
admits "all the inhabitants" into the rights, privileges, and immu- 
nities of taxation. Magnanimous M. CI 

I would call the attention of the women of the nation to the fact 
that, under the Federal Constitution, as it now exists, there is 
not one word that limits the right of suffrage to any privileged 
class. This attempt to turn the wheels of civilization backward, 
on the part of Republicans claiming to be the liberal party, should 
rouse every woman in the nation to a prompt exercise of the only 
right she has in the Government, the right of petition. To this 
end a committee in New York has sent out thousands of petitions, 
which should be circulated in every congressional district and sent 
to its representative at Washington as soon as possible. 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

New York, January 2, 1866. 

1 Letters of January 6 and 20, 1866. 
1.— 14 

Chapter XV : Pioneer Life in Kansas 

IN 1867 the proposition to extend the suffrage to 
women and to colored men was submitted to 
the people of the State of Kansas, and, among 
other Eastern speakers, I was invited to make a cam- 
paign through the state. As the fall elections were 
pending, there was great excitement everywhere. 
Suffrage for colored men was a Republican measure, 
which the press and politicians of that party advocated 
with enthusiasm. 

As woman suffrage was not a party question, we 
hoped that all parties would favor the measure; that 
we might, at last, have one green spot on earth where 
women could enjoy full liberty as citizens of the United 
States. Accordingly, in July, I started, with high 
hopes of a most successful trip, and, after an uneventful 
journey of one thousand five hundred miles, reached 
the sacred soil where John Brown and his sons had 
helped to fight the battles that made Kansas a free 

Lucy Stone, Mr. Blackwell, and Olympia Brown had 
opened the campaign with large meetings in all the 
chief cities. Then it was decided that, as the speakers 
were to go to the very borders of the state, where there 
were no railroads, we must take carriages, and econ- 
omize our forces. I was escorted by ex-Governor 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 205 

Charles Robinson. 1 We had a low, easy carriage, 
drawn by two horses, in which we stored about a bushel 
of tracts, two valises, a pail for watering the horses, 
a basket of apples, crackers, and other such refresh- 
ments as we could purchase on the way. Some things 
were suspended underneath the carriage, some packed 
on behind, and some under the seat and at our feet. 
It required great skill to compress the necessary bag- 
gage into the allotted space. As we went to the very 
verge of civilization, wherever two dozen voters could 
be assembled, we had a taste of pioneer life. We 
spoke in log cabins, in depots, unfinished schoolhouses, 
churches, hotels, barns, and in the open air. 

I spoke in a large mill one night. A solitary tallow 
candle shone over my head like a halo of glory; a few 
lanterns around the outskirts of the audience made the 
darkness perceptible; but all I could see of my hear- 
ers were the whites of their eyes in the dim distance. 
People came from twenty miles around to these meet- 
ings, held either in the morning, afternoon, or evening, 
as was most convenient. 

For two months we labored diligently, day after 
day, enduring all manner of discomforts in traveling, 
eating, and sleeping. As there were no roads or guide- 
posts, we often lost our way. In going through canons 
and fording streams it was often so dark that the 
governor was obliged to walk ahead to find the way, 
taking off* his coat so that I could see his white shirt 
and slowly drive after him. Though seemingly calm 
and cool, I had a great dread of these night adventures, 
as I was in constant fear of being upset on some hill 
1 Letter, December 28, 1867. 

206 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and rolled into the water. The governor often com- 
plimented me on my courage, when I was fully aware 
of being tempest-tossed with anxiety. I am naturally 
very timid, but, being silent under strong emotions 
of either pleasure or pain, I am credited with being 
courageous in the hour of danger. 

For days, sometimes, we could find nothing at a 
public table that we could eat. Then passing through 
a little settlement we could buy dried herring, crackers, 
gum arabic, and slippery elm; the latter, we were told, 
was very nutritious. We frequently sat down to a 
table with bacon floating in grease, coffee without milk, 
sweetened with sorghum, and bread or hot biscuit 
green with soda, while vegetables and fruit were seldom 
seen. Our nights were miserable, owing to the general 
opinion among pioneers that a certain species of insect 
must necessarily perambulate the beds in a young 
civilization. One night, after traveling over prairies 
all day, eating nothing but what our larder provided, 
we saw a light in a cottage in the distance which seemed 
to beckon to us. Arriving, we asked the usual ques- 
tion — if we could get a night's lodging — to which the 
response was the invariable hearty, hospitable "Yes." 
One survey of the premises showed me what to look 
for in the way of midnight companionship, so I said 
to the governor, "I will resign in your favor the com- 
forts provided for me to-night, and sleep in the car- 
riage, as you do so often. " I persisted against all the 
earnest persuasions of our host, and in due time I was 
ensconced for the night, and all about the house was 

I had just fallen into a gentle slumber, when a chorus 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 207 

of pronounced grunts and a spasmodic shaking of the 
carriage revealed to me the fact that I was surrounded 
by those long-nosed black pigs, so celebrated for their 
courage and pertinacity. They had discovered that 
the iron steps of the carriage made most satisfactory 
scratching posts, and each one was struggling for his 
turn. This scratching suggested fleas. Alas! thought 
I, before morning I shall be devoured. I was mortally 
tired and sleepy, but I reached for the whip and plied 
it lazily from side to side; but I soon found nothing but 
a constant and most vigorous application of the whip 
could hold them at bay one moment. I had heard that 
this type of pig was very combative when thwarted in 
its desires, and they seemed in such sore need of relief 
that I thought there was danger of their jumping into 
the carriage and attacking me. This thought was 
more terrifying than that of the fleas, so I decided to 
go to sleep and let them alone to scratch at their pleas- 
ure. I had a sad night of it, and never tried the car- 
riage again, though I had many equally miserable 
experiences within four walls. 

After one of these border meetings we stopped 
another night with a family of two bachelor brothers 
and two spinster sisters. The home consisted of one 
large room, not yet lathed and plastered. The furni- 
ture included a cooking stove, two double beds in 
remote corners, a table, a bureau, a washstand, and 
six wooden chairs. As it was late, there was no fire in 
the stove and no suggestion of supper, so the governor 
and I ate apples and chewed slippery elm before re- 
tiring to dream of comfortable beds and well-spread 
tables in the near future. 

208 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The brothers resigned their bed to me, just as it was. 
I had noticed that there was no ceremonious chang- 
ing of bed linen under such circumstances, so I had 
learned to nip all fastidious notions of individual 
cleanliness in the bud, and to accept the inevitable. 
When the time arrived for retiring, the governor and 
the brothers went out to make astronomical observa- 
tions or smoke, as the case might be, while the sisters 
and I made our evening toilet, and disposed ourselves 
in the allotted corners. That done, the stalwart sons 
of Adam made their beds with skins and blankets 
on the floor. When all was still and darkness reigned, 
I reviewed the situation with a heavy heart, seeing 
that I was bound to remain a prisoner in the corner 
all night, come what might. I had just congratulated 
myself on my power of adaptability to circumstances, 
when I suddenly started with an emphatic "What is 
that?" A voice from the corner asked, "Is your 
bed comfortable?" "Oh, yes," I replied, "but I 
thought I felt a mouse run over my head." "Well," 
said the voice from the corner, "I should not wonder. 
I have heard such squeaking from that corner during 
the past week that I told sister there must be a mouse 
nest in that bed." This announcement was greeted 
with suppressed laughter from the floor. But it was 
no laughing matter to me. Alas! what a prospect — 
to have mice running over one all night. But there 
was no escape. The sisters did not offer to make 
any explorations, and, in my fatigue costume, I could 
not light a candle and make any on my own account. 
The house did not afford an armchair in which I could 
sit up. I could not lie on the floor, and the other 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 209 

bed was occupied. Fortunately, I was very tired 
and soon fell asleep. What the mice did the remainder 
of the night I never knew, so deep were my slum- 
bers. But, as my features were intact, and my facial 
expression as benign as usual next morning, I inferred 
that their gambols had been most innocently and 
decorously conducted. These are samples of many 
similar experiences which we encountered during the 
three months of those eventful travels. 

Heretofore my idea had been that pioneer life was a 
period of romantic freedom. When the long, white- 
covered wagons, bound for the far West, passed by, I 
thought of the novelty of a six-months' journey through 
the bright spring and summer days in a house on 
wheels, meals under shady trees and beside babbling 
brooks, sleeping in the open air, and finding a home, at 
last, where land was cheap, the soil rich and deep, and 
where the grains, vegetables, fruit, and flowers grew 
bountifully with but little toil. But a few months 
of pioneer life permanently darkened my rosy ideal 
of the white-covered wagon, the charming picnics by 
the way, and the paradise at last. I found many of 
these adventurers in unfinished houses and racked 
with malaria; in one case I saw a family of eight, all 
ill with chills and fever. The house was half a mile 
from the spring water on which they depended, and 
from which those best able, from day to day, carried 
the needed elixir to others suffering with the usual 

In one case a family of twelve left their comfort- 
able farm in Illinois, much against the earnest pro- 
tests of the mother; she having ten children, the 

210 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

youngest a baby then in her arms. All their earthly 
possessions were stored in three wagons, and the farm 
which the mother owned was sold before they com- 
menced their long and perilous journey. There was 
no reason for going except that the husband had 
the Western fever. They were doing well in Illinois, 
on a large farm within two miles of a village, but he 
had visions of a bonanza near the setting sun. Accord- 
ingly they started. At the end of one month the 
baby died. A piece of wood from the cradle was all 
they had to mark its lonely resting place. With sad 
hearts they went on, and, in a few weeks, with grief 
for her child, her old home, her kindred and friends, the 
mother also died. She, too, was left alone on the 
far-off prairies, and the sad pageant moved on. Another 
child soon shared the same fate, and then a span of 
horses died, and one wagon, with all the things they 
could most easily spare, was abandoned. Arrived 
at their destination none of the golden dreams was 
realized. The expensive journey, the struggles in 
starting under new circumstances, and the loss of the 
mother's thrift and management, made the father so 
discouraged and reckless that much of his property 
was wasted, and his earthly career was soon ended. 
Through the heroic energy and good management of 
the eldest daughter, the little patrimony, in time, was 
doubled, and the children well brought up and edu- 
cated in the rudiments of learning, so that all became 
respectable members of society. Her advice to all 
young people is, if you are comfortably established in 
the East, stay there. There is no royal road to wealth 
and ease, even in the Western states! 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 211 

In spite of the discomforts we suffered in the Kansas 
campaign, I was glad of the experience. It gave me 
added self-respect to know that I could endure such 
hardships and fatigue with a great degree of cheerful- 
ness. The governor and I often laughed heartily, as 
we patiently chewed our gum arabic and slippery elm, 
to think on what a gentle stimulus we were accomplish- 
ing such wonderful feats as orators and travelers. It 
was fortunate our intense enthusiasm for the subject 
gave us all the necessary inspiration, as the supplies 
we gathered by the way were by no means sufficiently 
invigorating for prolonged propagandism. 

I enjoyed these daily drives over the vast prairies, 
listening to the governor's descriptions of the early days 
when the "bushwhackers and jayhawkers" made their 
raids on the inhabitants of the young free state. The 
courage and endurance of the women, surrounded by 
dangers and discomforts, surpassed all description. 
I count it a great privilege to have made the acquaint- 
ance of so many noble women and men who had passed 
through such scenes and conquered such difficulties. 
They seemed to live in an atmosphere altogether 
beyond their surroundings. Many educated families 
from New England, disappointed in not finding the 
much talked of bonanzas, were living in log cabins, in 
solitary places, miles from any neighbors. But I 
found Emerson, Parker, Holmes, Hawthorne, Whittier, 
and Lowell on their bookshelves to gladden their 
leisure hours. 

I often comforted myself mid adverse winds with 
memories of the short time we spent under Mother 
Bickerdyke's hospitable roof at Salina. There we 

212 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

had clean, comfortable beds, delicious viands, and 
everything was exquisitely neat. She entertained us 
with her reminiscences of the War. With great self- 
denial she had served her country in camp and hospital, 
and was with Sherman's army in that wonderful march 
to the sea, and here we found her on the outpost of 
civilization, determined to start what Kansas most 
needed — a good hotel. But alas! it was too good for 
that latitude, and proved a financial failure. It was, 
to us, an oasis in the desert, where we would gladly 
have lingered if the opposition would have come to 
us for conversion. But, as we had to carry the 
gospel of woman's equality into the highways and 
hedges, we left dear Mother Bickerdyke with profound 

The seed sown in Kansas in 1867 is now bearing its 
legitimate fruits. There was not a county in the state 
where meetings were not held or tracts scattered with 
a generous hand. If the friends of our cause in the 
East had been true, and had done for woman what 
they did for the colored man, I believe both proposi- 
tions would have been carried; but with a narrow 
policy, playing off one against the other, both were 
defeated. A policy of injustice always bears its own 
legitimate fruit in failure. 

The Republicans and abolitionists made us the 
most solemn promises of earnest labor for our enfran- 
chisement, when the XIII Amendment was safe 
beyond a peradventure. They never redeemed this 
promise; hence, when they urged us to silence in the 
Kansas campaign, we would not for a moment enter- 
tain their suggestion. The women generally awoke 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 213 

to their duty to themselves. They had been deceived 
once, and could not be again. 

We were urged to be silent on our rights, when the 
proposition to take the word "white" out of the New 
York Constitution was submitted to a vote of the 
people of the state, or, rather, to one-half the people, 
as women had no voice in the matter. Again we said, 
"No, no, gentlemen! if the 'white' comes out of the 
Constitution, let the 'male' come out also. Women 
have stood with the negro, thus far, on equal ground 
as ostracized classes, outside the political paradise; 
and now, when the door is open, it is but fair that we 
both should enter and enjoy all the fruits of citizen- 
ship. Heretofore ranked with idiots, lunatics, and 
criminals in the Constitution, the negro has been the 
only respectable compeer we had; so pray do not 
separate us now for another twenty years, ere the 
constitutional door will again be opened. " 

We were persistently urged to give all our efforts 
to get the word "white" out, and thus secure the 
enfranchisement of the colored man, as that, they said, 
would prepare the way for us to follow. Several 
editors threatened that, unless we did so, their papers 
should henceforth do their best to defeat every meas- 
ure we proposed. But we were deaf alike to persua- 
sions and threats, thinking it wiser to labor for women, 
constituting, as they did, half the people of the state, 
rather than for a small number of colored men; who, 
viewing all things from the same standpoint as white 
men, would be an added power against us. 

The question settled in Kansas, Miss Anthony and I 
returned, with George Francis Train, to New York. He 

214 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

offered to pay all the expenses of the journey and meet- 
ings in all the chief cities on the way, and see that 
we were fully and well reported in their respective 
journals. After prolonged consultation Miss Anthony 
and I thought best to accept the offer, and we did so. 
Most of our friends thought it a grave blunder, but the 
result proved otherwise. Mr. Train was then in his 
prime — a large, fine-looking man, a gentleman in dress 
and manner, neither smoking, chewing, drinking, nor 
gormandizing. He was an effective speaker. He 
gave his audience charcoal sketches of everyday life 
rather than argument. He always pleased popular 
audiences, and even the most fastidious were amused 
with his caricatures. As the newspapers gave several 
columns to our meetings at every point through all the 
states, the agitation was widespread and of great 
value. To be sure, our friends, on all sides, fell off, 
and those especially who wished us to be silent on the 
question of woman's rights, declared "the cause too 
sacred to be advocated by such a charlatan as George 
Francis Train. " If these fastidious ladies and gentle- 
men had come out to Kansas and occupied the ground 
and provided "the sinews of war," there would have 
been no field for Mr. Train's labors, and we should 
have accepted their services. But, as the ground 
was unoccupied, he had, at least, the right of a reform 
"squatter" to cultivate the cardinal virtues and reap 
a moral harvest wherever he could. 

Reaching New York, Mr. Train made it possible for 
us to establish a newspaper, which gave another impe- 
tus to our movement. The Revolution, published by 
Susan B. Anthony and edited by Parker Pillsbury and 

Pioneer Life in Kansas 215 

myself, lived two years and a half, and was then con- 
solidated with the New York Christian Enquirer, edited 
by the Rev. Henry Bellows, D.D. 1 I regard the brief 
period in which I edited the Revolution as one of the 
happiest of my life, and I may add the most useful. In 
looking over the editorials I find but one that I sincerely 
regret, and that was a retort on Mr. Garrison, written 
under great provocation, but not by me, which cir- 
cumstances, at the time, forbade me to disown. Con- 
sidering the pressure brought to bear on Miss Anthony 
and myself, I feel now that our patience and forbear- 
ance with our enemies in their malignant attacks on 
our good name, which we never answered, were indeed 

We said at all times and on all subjects just what 
we thought, and advertised nothing that we did not 
believe in. No advertisements of quack remedies ap- 
peared in our columns. One of our clerks once pub- 
lished a bread powder advertisement, which I did not 
see until the paper appeared; so, in the next number, 
I said, editorially, what I thought of it. I was alone in 
the office one day when a man blustered in. "Who," 
said he, "runs this concern?" "You will find the 
names of the editors and publishers," I replied, "on 
the editorial page." "Are you one of them?" "I 
am," I replied. "Well, do you know that I agreed to 
pay twenty dollars to have that bread powder adver- 
tised for one month, and then you condemn it edi- 
torially. Have you any more thoughts to publish 
on that bread powder?" "Oh, yes," I replied, "I 
have not exhausted the subject yet." "Then," said 

1 Letters, May 30, 1870, 

216 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

he, "I will have the advertisement taken out. What 
is there to pay for the one insertion?" "Oh, nothing," 
I replied, "as the editorial probably did you more 
injury than the advertisement did you good." On 
leaving, with prophetic vision, he said, "I prophesy a 
short life for this paper; the business world is based 
on quackery, and you cannot live without it." With 
melancholy certainty, I replied, "I fear you are right." 

Chapter XVI: Lyceum Trips 

THE Lyceum Bureau was, at one time, a great 
feature in American life. The three leading 
bureaus were in Boston, New York, and 
Chicago. The managers, map in hand, would lay out 
trips, more or less extensive according to the capacity 
or will of the speakers, and then, with a dozen or more 
victims in hand, make arrangements with the com- 
mittees in various towns and cities to set them all in 
motion. As the managers of the bureaus had ten per 
cent of what the speakers made, it was to their interest 
to keep the time well filled, and as, in the early days, 
the fees were from one to two hundred dollars a night, 
the speakers themselves were desirous of accomplish- 
ing as much as possible. Hence the engagements 
were made without the slightest reference to the com- 
fort of the travelers. With our immense distances, it 
was often necessary to travel night and day, some- 
times changing cars at midnight, and perhaps arriving 
at the destination half an hour or less before going on 
the platform, and starting again on the journey imme- 
diately upon leaving it. The route was always care- 
fully written out, giving the time the trains started 
from and arrived at various points; but as trains on 
side lines often failed to connect, one traveled, guide- 
book in hand, in a constant fever of anxiety. 

In 1869 I gave my name, for the first time, to the 

218 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

New York Bureau, and on November 14 began the 
long, weary pilgrimages, from Maine to Texas, that 
lasted twelve years; speaking steadily for eight months 
— from October to June — every season. 1 That was 
the heyday of the lecturing period, when a long list 
of bright men and women were constantly on the 
wing. Anna Dickinson, Olive Logan, Kate Field — 
later, Mrs. Livermore and Mrs. Howe, Alcott, Phillips, 
Douglass, Tilton, Curtis, Beecher, and, several years 
later, General Kilpatrick, with Henry Vincent, Brad- 
laugh, and Matthew Arnold from England; these and 
many others were stars of the lecture platform. 

Some of us occasionally managed to spend Sunday 
together, at a good hotel in some city, to rest and feast 
and talk over our joys and sorrows, the long journeys, 
the hard fare in the country hotels, the rainy nights 
when committees felt blue and tried to cut down our 
fees; the overheated, badly ventilated cars; the halls, 
sometimes too warm, sometimes too cold; babies 
crying in our audiences; the rain pattering on the roof 
overhead or leaking on the platform — these were 
common experiences. In the West, women with 
babies uniformly occupied the front seats so that the 
little ones, not understanding what you said, might be 
amused with your gestures and changing facial expres- 
sion. All these things, so trying, at the time, to con- 
centrated and enthusiastic speaking, afterward served 
as subjects of amusing conversation. We unanimously 
complained of the tea and coffee. Mrs. Livermore 
had the wisdom to carry a spirit lamp, with her own 

betters, April 21, 1872; February 16, 1875; February 3, 1876; March 11, 
March 16, 1877; January 8, March 26, 1879. 

Lyceum Trips 219 

tea and coffee, and thus supplied herself with the 
needed stimulants for her oratorical efforts. The 
hardships of these lyceum trips can never be appre- 
ciated except by those who have endured them. With 
accidents to cars and bridges, with floods and snow 
blockades, the pitfalls in one of these campaigns were 
without number. 

On one occasion, when engaged to speak at Maquo- 
keta, Iowa, I arrived at Lyons about noon, to find the 
road was blocked with snow, and no chance of the cars 
running for days. "Well," said I to the landlord, "I 
must be at Maquoketa at eight o'clock to-night; have 
you a sleigh, a span of fleet horses, and a skillful driver? 
If so, I will go across the country." "Oh, yes, madam!" 
he replied, "I have all you ask; but you could not 
stand a six-hours' drive in this piercing wind." Having 
lived in a region of snow, with the thermometer down 
to twenty degrees below zero, I had no fears of winds 
and drifts, so I said, "Get the sleigh ready and I will 
try it." Accordingly I telegraphed the committee 
that I would be there, and started. I was w T ell bundled 
up in a fur cloak and hood, a hot oak plank at my feet, 
and a thick veil over my head and face. As the land- 
lord gave the finishing touch, by throwing a large buf- 
falo robe over all and tying the two tails together at 
the back of my head and thus effectually preventing me 
putting my hand to my nose, he said, "There, if you 
can only sit perfectly still, you will come out all right 
at Maquoketa; that is, if you get there, which I very 
much doubt." It was a long, hard drive against the 
wind and through drifts, but I scarcely moved a finger, 

and, as the clock struck eight, we drove into the town. 
1.— 15 

220 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The hall was warm, and the church bell having an- 
nounced my arrival, a large audience was assembled. 
As I learned that all the roads in northern Iowa were 
blocked, I made the entire circuit, from point to point, 
in a sleigh, traveling forty and fifty miles a day. 

At the Sherman House, in Chicago, three weeks 
later, I met Mr. Bradlaugh and General Kilpatrick, 
who were advertised on the same route ahead of me. 
"Well," said I, "where have you gentlemen been?" 
"Waiting here for the roads to be opened. We have 
lost three weeks' engagements," they replied. As the 
general was lecturing on his experiences in Sherman's 
march to the sea, I chaffed him on not being able, in 
an emergency, to march across the State of Iowa. 
They were much astonished and somewhat ashamed, 
when I told them of my long, solitary drives over the 
prairies from day to day. It was the testimony of all 
the bureaus that the women could endure more fatigue 
and were more conscientious than the men in filling 
their appointments. 

The pleasant feature of these trips was the great 
educational work accomplished for the people through 
their listening to lectures on all the vital questions of 
the hour. Wherever any of us chanced to be on Sun- 
day, we preached in some church; and wherever I had 
a spare afternoon, I talked to women alone, on mar- 
riage, maternity, and the laws of life and health. We 
made many most charming acquaintances, too, scat- 
tered all over our Western World, and saw how com- 
fortable and happy sensible people could be, living in 
most straitened circumstances, with none of the lux- 
uries of life. If most housekeepers could get rid of 


[See p. 37 


Lyceum Trips 221 

one-half their clothes and furniture and put their 
bric-a-brac in the town museum, life would be simplified 
and they would begin to know what leisure means. 
When I see so many of our American women struggling 
to be artists, who cannot make a good loaf of bread 
nor a palatable cup of coffee, I think of what Theodore 
Parker said when art was a craze in Boston: "The 
fine arts do not interest me so much as the coarse arts 
which feed, clothe, house, and comfort a people. I 
would rather be a great man like Franklin than a 
Michael Angelo — nay, if I had a son, I should rather 
see him a mechanic, like the late George Stephenson, 
in England, than a great painter like Rubens, who 
only copied beauty." 

One night on the train from New York to Williams- 
port, Pennsylvania, I found abundant time to think 
over the personal peculiarities of the many noble 
women who adorn this nineteenth century, and, as I 
recalled them, one by one, in America, England, 
France, and Germany, and all that they are doing and 
saying, I wondered that any man could be so blind as 
not to see that woman has already taken her place as 
the peer of man. While the lords of creation have 
been debating her sphere and drawing their chalk 
marks here and there, woman has quietly stepped 
outside the barren fields where she was compelled to 
graze for centuries, and is now in green pastures and 
beside still waters, a power in the world of thought. 

These pleasant cogitations were cut short by my 
learning that I had taken the wrong train, and must 
change at Harrisburg at two o'clock in the morning. 
How soon the reflection that I must leave my comfort- 

222 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

able berth at such an unchristian hour changed the 
whole hue of glorious womanhood and every other 
earthly blessing! However, I lived through the trial 
and arrived at Williamsport as the day dawned. I 
had a good audience at the opera house that evening, 
and was introduced to many agreeable people, who 
declared themselves converted to woman suffrage by 
my ministrations. 

Once I passed a night in Philadelphia at Anna 
Dickinson's home — a neat, three-story brick house 
in Locust Street. This haven of rest, where the world- 
famous little woman came, ever and anon, to recruit 
her overtaxed energies, was very tastefully furnished, 
adorned with engravings, books, and statuary. Her 
mother, sister, and brother made up the household — 
a pleasing, cultivated trio. The brother was a hand- 
some youth of good judgment, and given to sage 
remarks; the sister, witty, intuitive, and incisive in 
speech; the mother, dressed in rich Quaker costume, 
and, though nearly seventy, still possessed of great 
personal beauty. She was intelligent, dignified, refined, 
and, in manner and appearance, reminded one of 
Angelina Grimke as she looked in her younger days. 
Everything about the house and its appointments 
indicated that it was the abode of genius and cultiva- 
tion, and, although Anna was absent, the hospitalities 
were gracefully dispensed by her family. Napoleon 
and Shakespeare seemed to be Anna's patron saints, 
looking down, on all sides, from the wall. 

I had long heard of the "Progressive Friends" in 
the region round Longwood; had read the many bulls 
they issued from their "yearly meetings" on every 

Lyceum Trips 223 

question, on war, capital punishment, temperance, 
slavery, woman's rights; had learned that they were 
turning the cold shoulder on the dress, habits, and 
opinions of their Fathers; listening to the ministrations 
of such worldlings as William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore 
Tilton, and Oliver Johnson, in a new meeting house, 
all painted and varnished, with cushions, easy seats, 
carpets, stoves, a musical instrument — shade of George 
Fox, forgive! — and three brackets with vases on the 
"high seat," and, more than all that, men and women 
were indiscriminately seated throughout the house. 

All this I beheld with my own eyes, and, in com- 
pany with Sarah Pugh and Chandler Darlington, did 
sit in the high seat and talk in the congregation of the 
people. There, too, for the space of one day I did 
enjoy the blissful serenity of that earthly paradise. 
The women of Kennett Square were celebrated, not 
only for their model housekeeping, but also for their 
rare cultivation on all subjects of general interest. 

I once started on one of my Western trips on the 
very day the trains were changed, and so I could not 
make connections to meet my engagements at Saginaw 
and Marshall, and just saved myself at Toledo by 
going directly from the cars before the audience, with 
the dust of twenty-four hours' travel on my garments. 
Not being able to reach Saginaw, I went straight to 
Ann Arbor, and spent three days most pleasantly in 
visiting old friends, making new ones, and surveying 
the town, with its university. I was invited to Thanks- 
giving dinner at the home of Mr. Seaman, a highly 
cultivated Democratic editor, author of Progress of 
Nations, A choice number of guests gathered round 

224 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

his hospitable board on that occasion, over which his 
wife presided with dignity and grace. Woman suf- 
frage was the target for the combined wit and satire 
of the company — four hours of uninterrupted sharp- 
shooting and pyrotechnics. 

One gentleman had the moral hardihood to assert 
that men had more endurance than women, whereupon 
a lady remarked that she would like to see the thirteen 
hundred young men in the university laced up in steel- 
ribbed corsets, with hoops, heavy skirts, trains, high 
heels, panniers, chignons, and dozens of hairpins stick- 
ing in their scalps, cooped up in the house year after 
year, with no exhilarating exercise, no hopes, aims, 
nor ambitions in life, and know if they could stand it 
as well as the girls. " Nothing," said she, "but the 
fact that women, like cats, have nine lives, enables 
them to survive the present regime to which custom 
dooms the sex." 

While in Ann Arbor I gave my lecture on "Our 
Girls" in the new Methodist church — a large building, 
well lighted, and filled with a brilliant audience. The 
students, in large numbers, were there, and strength- 
ened the threads of my discourse with frequent and 
generous applause; especially when I urged on the 
Regents of the University the duty of opening its 
doors to the daughters of the state. There were 
several splendid girls in Michigan, at that time, pre- 
paring themselves for admission to the law department. 
Some said the chief difficulty in the way of the girls 
being admitted to the university was the want of 
room. That could have been easily obviated by 
telling the young men from abroad to betake them- 

Lyceum Trips 225 

selves to the colleges in their respective states, that 
Michigan might educate her daughters. As the 
women owned a good share of the property of the state, 
and had been heavily taxed to build and endow that 
institution, it was but fair that they should share in 
its advantages. 

The Michigan University, with its extensive grounds, 
commodious buildings, medical and law schools, pro- 
fessors' residences, and the finest laboratory in the 
country, was an institution of which the state was 
justly proud, and, as the tuition was free, it was worth 
the trouble of a long, hard siege by the girls of Michigan 
to gain admittance there. I advised them to organize 
their forces at once, get their minute guns, battering 
rams, monitors, projectiles, bombshells, cannon, tor- 
pedoes, and crackers ready, and keep up a brisk can- 
nonading until the grave and reverend seigniors opened 
the door, and shouted, "Hold, enough !" 

Judge Cooley, whom I met at the time, gave me a 
glowing account of the laws of Michigan — how easy 
it was for wives to get possession of all the property, 
and then sunder the marriage tie and leave the poor 
husband to the charity of the cold world, with their 
helpless children about him. I heard of a rich lady, 
there, who made a will, giving her husband a hand- 
some annuity as long as he remained her widower. It 
was evident that the poor "white male," sooner or 
later, was doomed to try for himself the virtue of the 
laws he had made for women. I hope, for the sake of 
the race, he will not bear oppression with the stupid 
fortitude we have for six thousand years. 

At Coldwater, where I once lectured, I found the 

226 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

president of the lyceum was a sensible young man 
who, after graduating at Ann Arbor, decided, instead 
of starving at the law, to work with his hands and 
brains at the same time. When all men go to their 
legitimate business of creating wealth, developing the 
resources of the country, and leave its mere exchange 
to the weaker sex, we shall not have so many super- 
fluous women in the world with nothing to do. It 
is evident the time has come to hunt man into his 
appropriate sphere. I recall that this same winter 
I met Governor Fairchild and Senator Williams of 
Wisconsin. It was delightful to find them thoroughly 
grounded in the faith of woman suffrage. They had 
been devout readers of the Revolution. Senator Wil- 
liams, like myself, was on a lecturing tour. "Man" 
was his theme, for which I was devoutly thankful; 
for, if there are any of God's creatures that need 
lecturing, it is this one that is forever advising us. I 
thought of all men, from Father Gregory down to 
Horace Bushnell, who had wearied their brains to 
describe woman's sphere, and how signally they had 

Throughout my lyceum journeys I was of great use 
to the traveling public, in keeping the ventilators in 
the cars open, and the dampers in fiery stoves shut up, 
especially in sleeping cars at night. How many times 
a day I thought what the sainted Horace Mann tried 
to impress on his stupid countrymen, that, inasmuch 
as the air is forty miles deep around the globe, it is 
a useless piece of economy to breathe any number of 
cubic feet over more than seven times! The babies, 
too, need to be thankful that I was in a position to 

Lyceum Trips 227 

witness their wrongs. Many, through my interces- 
sions, received their first drink of water, and were 
emancipated from woolen hoods, veils, tight strings 
under their chins, and endless swaddling bands. It 
is a startling assertion, but true, that I have met few 
women who know how to take care of a baby. And 
this fact led me, on one trip, to lecture to my fair 
countrywomen on "Marriage and Maternity/' hoping 
to aid in the inauguration of a new era of happy, 
healthy babies. 

I once found myself in a pleasant room in the Inter- 
national Hotel at La Crosse, looking out on the Great 
Mother of Waters, on whose cold bosom the ice and 
the steamers were struggling for mastery. Beyond 
stretched the snowclad bluffs, sternly looking down 
on the Mississippi, as if to say, "Thus far shalt thou 
come and no farther — though sluggish, you are aggres- 
sive, ever pushing where you should not; but all 
attempts in this direction are in vain; since crea- 
tion's dawn we have defied you, and here we stand, 
to-day, calm, majestic, immovable. Coquette as you 
will in other latitudes, with flowery banks and youthful 
piers in the busy marts of trade, and undermine them, 
one and all, with your deceitful wooings, but bow in 
reverence as you gaze on us. We have no eyes for your 
beauty; no ears for your endless song; our heads are in 
the clouds, our hearts commune with gods; you have 
no part in the eternal problems of the ages that fill our 
thoughts; yours the humble duty to wash our feet, and 
then pass on, remembering to keep in your appro- 
priate sphere, within the banks that wise geographers 
have seen fit to mark." 

228 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

As I listened to these complacent hills and watched 
the poor Mississippi weeping as she swept along, to 
lose her sorrows in ocean's depths, I thought how like 
the attitude of man to woman. Let these proud hills 
remember that they, too, slumbered for centuries in 
deep valleys, down, down, when, perchance, the spark- 
ling Mississippi rolled above their heads, and but for 
some generous outburst, some upheaval of old Mother 
Earth, wishing that her rock-ribbed sons, as well as 
graceful daughters, might enjoy the light, the sunshine 
and the shower — but for this soul of love in matter as 
well as mind — these bluffs and the sons of Adam, too, 
might not boast the altitude they glory in to-day. 
Those who have ears to hear discern low, rumbling 
noises that foretell convulsions in our social world that 
may, perchance, in the next upheaval, bring woman to 
the surface — up, up, from gloomy ocean depths, dark 
caverns, and damp valleys. The struggling daughters 
of earth are soon to walk in the sunlight of a higher 

Escorted by Mr. Woodward, a member of the bar, 
I devoted a day, having a little leisure on my hands, 
to the lions of La Crosse. First we explored the 
courthouse, a large, new brick building, from whose 
dome we had a broad view of the surrounding country. 
The courtroom where justice is administered was 
large, clean, airy — the bench carpeted and adorned 
with a large, green, stuffed chair, in which I sat down, 
and, in imagination, summoned up advocates, jurors, 
prisoners, and people, and wondered how I should feel 
pronouncing sentence of death on a fellow-being, or, 
like Portia, wisely checkmating the Shylocks of our 

Lyceum Trips 229 

times. Here I met Judge Hugh Cameron, 1 formerly 
of Johnstown. He invited us into his sanctum, where 
we had a pleasant chat about our native hills, Scotch 
affiliations, the bench and bar of New York, and the 
Wisconsin laws for women. The judge, having main- 
tained a happy bachelor state, looked placidly on the 
aggressive movements of the sex, as his domestic 
felicity would be no way affected, whether woman was 
voted up or down. 

We next surveyed the Pomeroy building, which 
contained a large, tastefully finished hall and printing 
establishment, where the La Crosse Democrat was 
formerly published. As I saw the perfection, order, 
and good taste in all arrangements throughout, and 
listened to a description of the life and leading charac- 
teristics of its chief, it seemed impossible to reconcile 
the tone of the Democrat with the moral status of its 
editor. I never saw a more complete business estab- 
lishment, and the editorial sanctum looked as if it 
might be the abiding place of the Muses. Mirrors, 
pictures, statuary, books, music, rare curiosities, and 
fine specimens of birds and minerals were everywhere. 
Over the editor's table was a beautiful painting of his 
youthful daughter, whose flaxen hair, blue eyes, and 
angelic face should have inspired a father to nobler, 

1 Years after this, by the light of an open fire in England, one of the actors 
in this seemingly prosaic interview, changed it to an interesting human 
document. It seems Mr. Woodward left the room to make further sight- 
seeing arrangements, whereupon the judge drew from a waistcoat pocket a 
lucky stone and asked, "Elizabeth Cady, do you remember this?" To her 
"No," he replied, as he held the stone in the palm of his hand, "You gave 
me that when we were youth and maiden together. We were strolling along 
the Cayadutta. I have always carried it." Adding, as he put it back in 
its secret place, "And I always shall." 

230 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

purer, utterances than he was wont, at that time, to 
give to the world. 

But Pomeroy's good deeds will live long after his 
profane words are forgotten. Throughout the estab- 
lishment cards, set up in conspicuous places, said, 
"Smoking here is positively forbidden." Drinking, 
too, was forbidden to all his employees. The moment 
a man was discovered using intoxicating drinks, he 
was dismissed. In the upper story of the building was 
a large, pleasant room, handsomely carpeted and fur- 
nished, where the employees, in their leisure hours, 
could talk, write, read, or amuse themselves in any 
rational way. 

Mr. Pomeroy was humane and generous with his 
employees, honorable in his business relations, and 
boundless in his charities to the poor. His charity, 
business honor, and public spirit were highly spoken of 
by those who knew him best. That a journal does not 
always reflect the editor is as much the fault of society 
as of the man. So long as the public will pay for gross 
personalities, obscenity, and slang, decent journals 
will be outbidden in the market. The fact that the 
La Crosse Democrat found a ready sale in all parts of 
the country showed that Mr. Pomeroy fairly reflected 
the popular taste. While multitudes turned up the 
whites of their eyes and denounced him in public, they 
bought his paper and read it in private. 

I left La Crosse in a steamer, just as the rising sun 
lighted the hilltops and gilded the Mississippi. It was 
a lovely morning, and, in company with a young girl of 
sixteen, who had traveled alone from some remote part 
of Canada, bound for a northern village in Wisconsin, 

Lyceum Trips 231 

I promenaded the deck most of the way to Winona, a 
pleased listener to the incidents of my young com- 
panion's experiences. She said that, when crossing 
Lake Huron, she was the only woman on board, but the 
men were so kind and civil that she soon forgot she 
was alone. I found many girls, traveling long dis- 
tances, who had never been five miles from home before, 
with a self-reliance that was remarkable. They all 
spoke in the most flattering manner of the civility of 
our American men in looking after their baggage and 
advising them as to the best routes. 

As you approach St. Paul, at Fort Snelling, where 
the Mississippi and Minnesota join forces, the country 
grows bold and beautiful. The town, in the days of 
my lyceum trips, boasted about thirty thousand inhab- 
itants, and had substantial stone residences. It was 
in one of these charming homes I found a harbor of 
rest during a stay in the city. Mrs. Stuart, whose 
hospitalities I enjoyed, was a woman of rare common 
sense and sound health. Her husband, Dr. Jacob H. 
Stuart, was one of the very first surgeons to volunteer 
in the War. In the panic at Bull Run, instead of 
running, as everybody else did, he stayed with the 
wounded, and was taken prisoner while taking a bullet 
from the head of a Southern soldier. When exchanged, 
Beauregard gave him his sword for his devotion to the 
dying and wounded. 

I had the pleasure on this same tour of seeing Wil- 
liam L. Banning, the originator of the Lake Superior 
and Mississippi Railroad. He besieged Congress and 
capitalists for a dozen years to build this road, but 
was laughed at and put off* with sneers and contempt, 

232 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

until, at last, Jay Cooke became so weary of his con- 
tinual coming that he said: "I will build the road to 
get rid of you." The opening of these new outlets 
and mines of wealth was wholly due to the foresight 
and perseverance of Mr. Banning. The first engine 
that went over a part of the road had been christened 
at St. Paul, with becoming ceremonies. A cask of 
water from the Pacific was sent by Mr. Banning's 
brother from California, and a small keg was brought 
from Lake Superior for the occasion. A glass was 
placed in the hands of Miss Ella B. Banning, daughter 
of the president, who then christened the engine, say- 
ing: "With the waters of the Pacific Ocean in my right 
hand, and the waters of Lake Superior in my left, 
invoking the Genius of Progress to bring together, with 
iron band, two great commercial systems of the globe, 
I dedicate this engine to the use of the Lake Superior 
and Mississippi Railroad, and name it William L. 

Leaving the main road to Chicago at Clinton Junc- 
tion, I recall I once had the pleasure of waiting at a 
small country inn until midnight for a freight train. 
This was indeed dreary, but, having Mrs. Child's 
sketches of Mmes. De Stael and Roland at hand, I 
read of Napoleon's persecutions of the one and Robes- 
pierre's of the other, until, by comparison, my condition 
was tolerable, and the little meagerly furnished room, 
with its dull fire and dim lamp, seemed a paradise 
compared with years of exile from one's native land 
or the prison cell and guillotine. How small our ordi- 
nary, petty trials seem in contrast with the mountains 
of sorrow that have been piled up on the great souls of 

Lyceum Trips 233 

the past! Absorbed in communion with them, twelve 
o'clock soon came, and with it the train. 

A burly son of Adam escorted me to the passenger 
car, filled with German immigrants, with tin cups, 
babies, bags, and bundles innumerable. The venti- 
lators were all closed, the stoves hot, and the air was 
like that of the Black Hole of Calcutta. So, after 
depositing my cloak and bag in an empty seat, I quietly 
propped both doors open with a stick of wood, shut 
up the stoves, and opened all the ventilators with the 
poker. But the celestial breeze, so grateful to me, had 
the most unhappy effect on the slumbering exiles. 
Paterfamilias swore outright; the companion of his 
earthly pilgrimage said, "We must be going north ;" 
and, as the heavy veil of carbonic acid gas was lifted 
from infant faces, and the pure oxygen filled their lungs 
and roused them to new life, they set up one simul- 
taneous shout of joy and gratitude, which their parents 
mistook for agony. Altogether there was a general 
stir. As I had quietly slipped into my seat and laid 
my head down to sleep, I remained unobserved — the 
innocent cause of the general purification and vexation. 

We reached Freeport at three o'clock in the morning. 
As the depot for Dubuque, which was my destination, 
was nearly half a mile on the other side of the town, I 
said to a solitary old man who stood shivering there 
to receive us, "How can I get to the other station?" 
"Walk, madam." "But I do not know the way." 
"There is no one to go with you." "How is my trunk 
going?" said I. "I have a donkey and cart to take 
that." "Then," said I, "you, the donkey, the trunk, 
and I will go together." So I stepped into the cart, 

234 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

sat down on the trunk, and the old man laughed 
heartily as we jogged along through the mud in the 
pale morning starlight. 

To this day I feel I have cause of complaint against 
the telegraph operator at Dixon, whose negligence to 
send a dispatch, written and paid for, came near caus- 
ing me a solitary night on the prairie, unsheltered and 
unknown. Hearing that the express train went out 
Sunday afternoon, I decided to go, so as to have all 
day at Mt. Vernon before speaking; but on getting 
my trunk checked, the baggageman said the train did 
not stop there. "Well," said I, "check the trunk to 
the nearest point at which it does stop," resolving that 
I would persuade the conductor to stop one minute, 
anyway. Accordingly, when the conductor came 
round, I presented my case as persuasively and elo- 
quently as possible, telling him that I had telegraphed 
friends to meet me, etc., etc. He kindly consented, 
and had my trunk rechecked. On arriving, as there 
was no light, no sound, and the depot was half a mile 
from the town, the conductor urged me to go to Cedar 
Rapids and come back the next morning, as it was 
Sunday and the depot might not be opened, and I 
might be compelled to stay there on the platform all 
night in the cold. 

But, as I had telegraphed, I told him I thought 
someone would be there, and I would take the risk. 
So off went the train, leaving me solitary and alone. 
I could see the lights in the distant town and the dark 
outlines of two great mills near by, which suggested 
dams and races. I heard, too, the distant barking of 
dogs, and I thought there might be wolves, too; but no 

Lyceum Trips 235 

human sound. The platform was high, and I could see 

no way down, and I should not have dared to go down 

if I had. So I walked all round the house, knocked at 

every door and window, called "John!" "James !" 

" Patrick !" but no response. Dressed in all their best, 

they had, no doubt, gone to visit Sally, and I knew 

they would stay late. The night wind was cold. What 

could I do? The prospect of spending the night there 

filled me with dismay. At last I thought I would try 

my vocal powers; so I hallooed as loud as I could, in 

every note of the gamut, until I was hoarse. At last 

I heard a distant sound, a loud halloo, which I returned, 

and so we kept it up until the voice grew near, and 

when I heard a man's heavy footsteps close at hand, I 

was relieved. He proved to be the telegraph operator, 

who had been a brave soldier in the late war. He said 

that no message had come from Dixon. He escorted 

me to the hotel, where some members of the Lyceum 

Committee came in and had a hearty laugh at my 

adventure, especially that, in my distress, I should have 

called on James and John and Patrick, instead of Jane, 

Ann, and Bridget. They seemed to argue that that 

was an admission, on my part, of man's superiority, 

but I suggested that, as my sex had not yet been exalted 

to the dignity of presiding in depots and baggage rooms, 

there would have been no propriety in calling Jane and 


Mt. Vernon was distinguished for a very flourishing 

Methodist college, open to boys and girls alike. The 

president and his wife were liberal and progressive 

people. I dined with them in their home, and met 

some young ladies from Massachusetts, who were 
1.— 16 

236 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

teachers in the institution. All who gathered round 
the social board on that occasion were of one mind on 
the woman question. I gave "Our Girls" in the 
Methodist church, and took the opportunity to com- 
pliment them for taking the word "obey" out of their 
marriage ceremony. I heard the most encouraging 
reports of the experiment of educating the sexes to- 
gether. It was the rule in all the Methodist institu- 
tions in Iowa, and I found that the young gentlemen 
fully approved of it. 

At Mt. Vernon I also met Mr. Wright, former Sec- 
retary of State, who gave me several interesting facts 
in regard to the women of Iowa. Miss Addington 
was superintendent of schools in Mitchel County. 
She was nominated by a convention in opposition to 
a Mr. Brown. When the vote was taken, lo! there 
was a tie. Mr. Brown offered to yield through cour- 
tesy, but she declined; so they drew lots and Miss 
Addington was the victor. She once made an abstract 
of titles of all the lands in the county where she lived, 
and had received an appointment to office from the 
governor of the state, who requested the paper to be 
made out "L." instead of Laura Addington. He said 
it was "enough for Iowa to appoint women to such 
offices, without having it known the world over." I 
was sorry to tell the Governor's secret — which I did 
everywhere — but the cause of womanhood made it 

Chapter XVII: Westward Ho! 

IN the month of June, 1871, Miss Anthony and I 
went to California, holding suffrage meetings 
in many of the chief cities x from New York to 
San Francisco, where we arrived about the middle of 
July, in time to experience the dry, dusty season. 

We tarried, on the way, one week in Salt Lake City. 
It was at the time of the Godby secession, when several 
hundred Mormons abjured that portion of the faith of 
their fathers which authorized polygamy. A decision 
had just been rendered by the United States Supreme 
Court declaring the first wife and her children the only 
legal heirs. Whether this decision hastened the seces- 
sion I do not know; however, it gave us the advantage 
of hearing all the arguments for and against the system. 
Those who were opposed to it said it made slaves of 
men. To support four wives and twenty children 
was a severe strain on any husband. The women 
who believed in polygamy had much to say in its favor, 
especially in regard to the sacredness of motherhood 
during the period of pregnancy and lactation; a lesson 
of respect for that period being religiously taught all 

We were very thankful for the privilege granted us 
of speaking to the women alone in the Tabernacle. 
Our m eeting opened at two o'clock, and lasted until 
1 Letters, June 12, June 2$, 1871, 

238 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

seven, giving us five hours of uninterrupted conversa- 
tion. Judge McKeon had informed me of the recent 
decisions and the legal aspects of the questions, which 
he urged me to present to them fully and frankly, as 
no one had had such an opportunity before to speak 
to Mormon women alone. So I made the most of my 
privilege. I gave a brief history of the marriage insti- 
tution in all times and countries, of the matriarch ate, 
when the mother was the head of the family and owned 
the property and children; of the patriarchate, when 
man reigned supreme and woman was enslaved; of 
polyandry, polygamy, monogamy, and prostitution. 
We had a full and free discussion of every phase of the 
question, and we all agreed that we were still far from 
having reached the ideal position for woman in mar- 
riage, however satisfied man might be with his various 
experiments. Though the Mormon women, like all 
others, stoutly defend their own religion, yet they are 
no more satisfied than any other sect. All women are 
dissatisfied with their position as inferiors, and their 
dissatisfaction increases in exact ratio with their 
intelligence and development. 

After this convocation the doors of the Tabernacle 
were closed to our ministrations, as we thought they 
would be, but we had crowded an immense amount of 
science, philosophy, history, and general reflections 
into the five hours of such free talk as those women 
had never heard before. As the seceders had just built 
a new hall, we held meetings there every day, discuss- 
ing all the vital issues of the hour, the Mormon men 
and women taking an active part. 

We attended the Fourth of July celebration, and 

Westward Ho! 239 

saw the immense Tabernacle filled to its utmost 
capacity. The various states of the Union were rep- 
resented by young girls, gayly dressed, carrying beauti- 
ful flags and banners. When that immense multitude 
joined in our national songs, and the deep-toned organ 
filled the vast dome the music was very impressive, 
and the spirit of patriotism manifested throughout 
was deep and sincere. 

As I stood among these simple people, so earnest in 
making their experiment in religion and social life, and 
remembered all the persecutions they had suffered, 
and all they had accomplished in that desolate, far-off 
region, where they had, indeed, made "the wilderness 
blossom like the rose," I appreciated, as never before, 
the danger of intermeddling with the religious ideas of 
any people. 1 Their faith finds abundant authority 
in the Bible, in the example of God's chosen people. 
When learned ecclesiastics teach the people that they 
can safely take that book as the guide of their lives, 
they must expect them to follow the letter and the 
specific teachings that lie on the surface. The ordinary 
mind does not generalize nor see that the same prin- 
ciples of conduct will not do for all periods and lati- 
tudes. When women understand that governments 
and religions are human inventions; that bibles, 
prayerbooks, catechisms, and encyclical letters are 
all emanations from the brain of man, they will no 
longer be oppressed by the injunctions that come to 
them with the divine authority of "Thus saith the 

That thoroughly democratic gathering in the Taber- 

^Letter, April 5, 1879. 

240 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

nacle impressed me more than any other Fourth of 
July celebration I ever attended. As most of the 
Mormon families keep no servants, mothers must take 
their children wherever they go — to churches, theaters, 
concerts, and military reviews — everywhere and any- 
where. Hence the low, pensive wail of the individual 
baby, combining in large numbers, becomes a deep 
monotone, like the waves of the sea, a sort of violon- 
cello accompaniment to all their holiday performances. 
It was rather trying to me at first to have my glowing 
periods punctuated with a rhythmic wail from all sides 
of the hall; but as soon as I saw that it did not distract 
my hearers, I simply raised my voice, and, with a little 
added vehemence, fairly rivaled the babies. Com- 
menting on this trial to one of the theatrical per- 
formers, he replied: "It is bad enough for you, but 
alas! imagine me in a tender death scene, when the 
most profound stillness is indispensable, having my 
last gasp, my farewell message to loved ones, accen- 
tuated with the joyful crowings or impatient com- 
plainings of fifty babies!" I noticed in the Tabernacle 
that the miseries of the infantile host were in a measure 
mitigated by constant draughts of cold water, borne 
around in buckets by four old men. 

The journey over the Rocky Mountains was more 
interesting and wonderful than I had imagined. A 
heavy shower the morning we reached the alkali plains 
made the trip through that region, where travelers 
suffer so much, quite endurable. Although we reached 
California in its hot, dry season, we found the atmos- 
phere in San Francisco delightful, fanned with the 
gentle breezes of the Pacific, cooled with the waters 

Westward Ho! 241 

of its magnificent harbor. The Golden Gate does 
indeed open to the eye of the traveler one of the most 
beautiful harbors in the world! 

Friends had engaged for us a suite of apartments 
at the Grand Hotel, then just opened. Our rooms 
were constantly decked with fresh flowers, which our 
"suffrage children/' as they called themselves, brought 
us from day to day. So many brought tokens of 
their good will — in fact, all our visitors came with 
offerings of fruits and flowers — that not only our 
apartments, but the public tables were crowded with 
rare and beautiful specimens of all varieties. We 
spoke every night to crowded houses, on all phases 
of the woman question, and had a succession of visitors 
during the day. In fact, for one week, we had a 
perfect ovation. 

While in San Francisco we had many delightful sails 
in the harbor, and drives to the seashore, and for miles 
along the beach. We spent several hours at the little 
Ocean House, watching the gambols of the celebrated 
seals. These, like the big trees, were named after 
distinguished statesmen. One very black fellow was 
named Charles Sumner, in honor of his love of the 
colored race; another, with a little squint in his eye, 
was called Ben Butler; a stout, rotund specimen that 
seemed to take life philosophically, was named Senator 
Davis of Illinois; a very belligerent one, who appeared 
determined to crowd his confreres into the sea, was 
called Secretary Stanton. Grant and Lincoln, on a 
higher ledge of the rocks, were complacently observing 
the gambols of the rest. 

California was on the eve of an important election, 


Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and John A. Bingham of Ohio and Senator Cole were 
stumping the state for the Republican party. At 
several points we had the use of their great tents for 
our audiences, and of such of their able arguments 
as applied to woman. As Mr. Bingham's speech 
was on the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth 
Amendments, every principle he laid down literally 
enfranchised the women of the nation. I met the 
Ohio statesman one morning at breakfast, after hear- 
ing him the night before. I told him his logic must 
compel him to advocate woman suffrage. With a 
most cynical smile he said "he was not the puppet of 
logic, but the slave of practical politics. " 

We saw most of our suffrage coadjutors in different 
parts of California. Here I first met Senator Sargent's 
family, and visited them in Sacramento City, where 
we had a suffrage meeting in the evening, and one for 
women alone next day. At a similar meeting in San 
Francisco six hundred women were present in Piatt's 
Hall. We discussed marriage, maternity, and social 
life in general. Supposing none but women were 
present, as all were dressed in feminine costume, the 
audience were quite free in their questions, and I 
equally so in my answers. To our astonishment, the 
next morning a verbatim report of all that was said 
appeared in one of the leading papers, with most 
respectful comments. As I always wrote and read 
carefully what I had to say on such delicate subjects, 
the language was well chosen and the presentation of 
facts and philosophy quite unobjectionable; hence, 
the information being as important for men as for 
women, I did not regret the publication. During the 

Westward Ho! 243 

day a committee of three gentlemen called to know if 
I would give a lecture to men alone. As I had no 
lecture prepared, I declined, with the promise to do 
so the next time I visited California. The idea was 
novel, but I think women could do much good in that 

My readers may be sure that such enterprising 
travelers as Miss Anthony and myself visited all the 
wonders, saw the geysers, big trees, the Yosemite 
Valley, and the immense mountain ranges, piled one 
above another, until they seemed to make a giant 
pathway from earth to heaven. We drove down the 
mountain sides with Fox, the celebrated whip; six- 
teen people in an open carriage drawn by six horses, 
down, down, down, as fast as we could go. I expected 
to be dashed to pieces, but we safely descended in one 
hour heights we had taken three to climb. Fox held 
a steady rein, and seemed as calm as if we were trotting 
on a level, though any accident, such as a hot axle, a 
stumbling horse, or a break in the harness would have 
sent us down the mountain side, two thousand feet, 
to inevitable destruction. 

At Stockton we met a party of friends just returning 
from the Yosemite, who gave us much valuable infor- 
mation for the journey. Among other things, I was 
advised to write to Mr. Hutchins, the chief authority 
there, to have a good, strong horse in readiness to take 
me down the steep and narrow path into the valley. 
We took the same driver and carriage which our 
friends had found trustworthy, and started early in the 
morning. The dust and heat rendered the day's journey 
very wearisome, but the prospect of seeing the won* 

244 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

derful valley made all hardships of little consequence 
Quite a large party were waiting to mount their don- 
keys and mules when we arrived. One of the attend- 
ants, a man about as thin as a stair rod, asked me if I 
was the lady who had ordered a strong horse; I being 
the stoutest of the party, he readily arrived at that 
conclusion, so my steed was promptly produced. But 
I knew enough of horses and riding to see at a glance 
that he was a failure, with his low withers and high 
haunches, for descending steep mountains. In addi- 
tion to his forward pitch, his back was immensely 
broad. Miss Anthony and I decided to ride astride, 
and had suits made for that purpose; but alas! my 
steed was so broad that I could not reach the stirrups, 
and the moment we began to descend, I felt as if I 
were going over his head. So I fell behind, and, when 
the party had all gone forward, I dismounted, though 
my slender guide assured me there was no danger, he 
"had been up and down a thousand times. ,, But, as 
I had never been at all, his repeated experiences did 
not inspire me with courage. I decided to walk. 
That, the guide said, was impossible. "Well," said I, 
by way of compromise, "I will walk as far as I can, 
and when I reach the impossible, I will try that ill- 
constructed beast. I cannot see what you men were 
thinking of when you selected such an animal for this 
journey." And so we went slowly down, arguing the 
point whether it were better to ride or walk; to trust 
one's own legs, or, by chance, be precipitated thousands 
of feet down the mountain side. 

It was a hot August day; the sun, in the zenith, 
shining with full power. My blood was at boiling heat 

Westward Ho! 245 

with exercise and vexation. Alternately sliding and 
walking, catching hold of rocks and twigs, drinking at 
every rivulet, covered with dust, dripping with per- 
spiration, costume, gloves, and shoes in tatters, for four 
long hours I struggled down to the end, when I laid 
myself out on the grass, and fell asleep, perfectly 
exhausted. I sent the guide to tell Mr. Hutchins that 
I had reached the valley, and, as I could neither ride 
nor walk, to supply a wheelbarrow, or four men with 
a blanket to transport me to the hotel. That very 
day the Mariposa Company had brought the first 
carriage into the valley, which, in due time, was dis- 
patched to my relief. Miss Anthony, who, with a nice 
little Mexican pony and narrow saddle, had made her 
descent with grace and dignity, welcomed me on the 
steps of the hotel, and laughed immoderately at my 
helpless plight. 

As hour after hour had passed, she said, there had 
been a general wonderment as to what had become of 
me; "but did you ever see such magnificent scenery ?" 
"Alas!" I replied, "I have been in no mood for scenery. 
I have been constantly watching my hands and feet 
lest I should come to grief." The next day I was too 
stiff and sore to move a finger. However, in due time 
I awoke to the glory and grandeur of that wonderful 
valley, of which no descriptions nor paintings can give 
the least idea. 

We spent a day in the Calaveras Grove, rested 
beneath the "big trees," and rode on horseback through 
the fallen trunk of one of them. Some vandals sawed 
off* one of the most magnificent specimens twenty feet 
above the ground, and on this the owners of the hotel 

246 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

built a little octagonal chapel. The polished wood, 
with bark for a border, made a very pretty floor. Here 
they often had Sunday services, as it held about one 
hundred people. Here, too, we discussed the suffrage 
question, amid these majestic trees that had battled 
with the winds two thousand years, and had probably 
never before listened to such rebellion as we preached 
to the daughters of earth that day. 

Here, again, we found our distinguished statesmen 
immortalized, each with his namesake among these 
stately trees. We asked our guide if there were any 
not yet appropriated, might we name them after 
women. As he readily consented, we wrote on cards 
the names of a dozen leading women, and tacked them 
on their respective trees. Whether Lucretia Mott, 
Lucy Stone, Phcebe Couzins, and Anna Dickinson 
still retain their identity, and answer when called by 
the goddess Sylvia in that majestic grove, I know not. 
Twenty-five years have rolled by since then, and a 
new generation of visitors and guides may have left 
no trace of our work. But we whispered our hopes 
and aspirations to the trees, to be wafted to the powers 
above, and we left them indelibly pictured on the 
walls of the little chapel, and for mortal eyes we 
scattered leaflets wherever we went, and made all 
our pleasure trips so many propaganda for woman's 

Returning from California I made the journey 
straight through from San Francisco to New York. 
Though a long trip to take without a break, yet I 
enjoyed every moment, as I found most charming 
companions in Bishop Janes and his daughter. The 

Westward Ho! 247 

Bishop being very liberal in his ideas, we discussed the 
various theologies, and all phases of the woman ques- 
tion. I shall never forget those pleasant conversa- 
tions as we sat outside on the platform, day after day, 
and in the soft moonlight late at night. We took up 
the thread of our debate each morning where we had 
dropped it the night before. The Bishop told me 
about the resolution to take the word "obey" from 
the marriage ceremony, which he introduced, two 
years before, into the Methodist General Conference, 
and carried with but little opposition. All praise to 
the Methodist Church! When our girls are educated 
into a proper self-respect and laudable pride of sex, 
they will scout all these old barbarisms of the past 
that point in any way to the subject condition of 
women in either the state, the church, or the home. 
Until the other sects follow her example, I hope our 
girls will insist on having their conjugal knots all tied 
by Methodist bishops. 

The Episcopal marriage service not only still clings 
to the word "obey," but it has a most humiliating 
ceremony in giving the bride away. I was never 
more struck with its odious and ludicrous features 
than on once seeing a tall, queenly-looking woman, 
magnificently arrayed, married by one of the tiniest 
priests that ever donned a surplice and gown, given 
away by the smallest guardian that ever watched over 
a woman's fortunes, to the feeblest, bluest-looking little 
groom that ever placed a wedding ring on bridal finger. 
Seeing these Lilliputians around her, I thought, when 
the little priest said, "Who gives this woman to this 
man," that she would take the responsibility and say, 

248 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

"I do;" but no! there she stood, calm, serene, as if it 
were no affair of hers, while the little guardian, plac- 
ing her hand in that of the little groom, said, "I do." 
Thus was this stately woman bandied about by these 
three puny men, all of whom she might have gathered 
up in her arms and borne off to their respective spheres. 

But women are gradually waking up to the degra- 
dation of these ceremonies. Not long since, at a wed- 
ding in high life, a beautiful girl of eighteen was struck 
dumb at the word "obey." Three times the priest 
pronounced it with emphasis and holy unction, each 
time slower, louder, than before. Though the magnifi- 
cent parlors were crowded, a breathless silence reigned. 
Father, mother, and groom were in agony. The bride, 
with downcast eyes, stood speechless. At length the 
priest slowly closed his book and said, "The ceremony 
is at an end." One imploring word from the groom, 
and a faint "obey" was heard in the solemn stillness. 
The priest unclasped his book and the knot was tied. 
The congratulations, feast, and all, went on as though 
there had been no break in the proceedings, but the 
lesson was remembered, and many a rebel made by 
that short pause. 

I think all these reverend gentlemen who insist on 
the word "obey" in the marriage service should be 
removed for a clear violation of the Thirteenth Amend- 
ment to the Federal Constitution, which says there 
shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude 
within the United States. As I gave these experiences 
to Bishop Janes he laughed heartily, and asked me to 
repeat them to each newcomer. Our little debating 
society was the center of attraction. One gentleman 

Westward Ho! 249 

asked me if our woman suffrage conventions were as 
entertaining. I told him yes; that there were no 
meetings in Washington so interesting and so well 
attended as ours. 

As I had some woman suffrage literature in my valise, 
I distributed leaflets to all earnest souls who plied me 
with questions. Like all other things, it requires great 
discretion in sowing leaflets, lest you expose yourself to 
a rebuff. I never offer one to a man with a small head 
and high heels on his boots, with his chin in the air, 
because I know, in the nature of things, that he will 
be jealous of superior women; nor to a woman whose 
mouth has the "prunes and prisms" expression, for 
I know she will say, "I have all the rights I want." 
Going up to London one day, a few years later, I 
noticed a saintly sister, belonging to the Salvation 
Army, timidly offering some leaflets to several persons 
on board; all coolly declined to receive them. Having 
had much experience in the joys and sorrows of prop- 
agandist^ I put out my hand and asked her to give 
them to me. I thanked her, and read them before 
reaching London. It did me no harm and her much 
good in thinking that she might thus have planted 
a new idea in my mind. Whatever is given to us 
freely, I think, in common politeness, we should 
accept graciously. 

From 1869 to 1873 I made several trips through 
Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Nebraska, holding meet- 
ings at most of the chief towns, speaking in the after- 
noons to women alone on "Marriage and Maternity." 
I went to Texas, speaking in Dallas, Sherman, and 
Houston, where I was delayed two weeks by floods, 

250 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and thus prevented from going to Austin, Galveston, 
and some points in Louisiana, where I was advertised 
to lecture. In fact I lost all my appointments for a 
month. However, there was a fine hotel in Houston 
and many pleasant people, among whom I made some 
valuable acquaintances. Beside several public meet- 
ings, I had parlor talks and scattered leaflets, so that 
my time was not lost. 

As the floods had upset my plans for the winter, I 
went straight from Houston to New York over the Iron 
Mountain Railroad. I anticipated a rather solitary 
trip; but, fortunately, I met General Baird, whom I 
knew, and some other army officers, who had been 
down on the Mexican border to settle some troubles 
in the "free zone. ,, We amused ourselves on the long 
journey with whist and woman suffrage discussions. 
We noticed a dyspeptic-looking clergyman, evidently 
of a bilious temperament, eyeing us very steadily and 
disapprovingly the first day, and in a quiet way we 
warned each other that, in due time, he would give us 
a sermon on the sin of card playing. 

Sitting alone, early next morning, he seated him- 
self by my side, and asked me if I would allow him to 
express his opinion on card playing. I said "Oh, yes! 
I fully believe in free speech." "Well," said he, "I 
never touch cards. I think they are an invention of 
the devil to lead unwary souls from all serious thought 
of the stern duties of life and the realities of eternity! 
I was sorry to see you, with your white hair, probably 
near the end of your earthly career, playing cards and 
talking with those reckless army officers, who delight 
in killing their fellow beings. No! I do not believe 

Westward Ho! 251 

in war or card playing; such things do not prepare 
the soul for heaven." "Well," said I, "you are quite 
right, with your views, to abjure the society of army 
officers and all games of cards. You, no doubt, enjoy 
your own thoughts and the book you are reading 
more than you would the conversation of those gentle- 
men and a game of whist. We must regulate our con- 
duct by our own highest ideal. While I deplore the 
necessity of war, yet I know in our army many of the 
noblest types of manhood, whose acquaintance I prize 
most highly. I enjoy all games, too, from chess down 
to dominoes. There is so much that is sad and stern 
in life that we need sometimes to lay down its burdens 
and indulge in innocent amusements. Thus, you see, 
what is wise from my standpoint is unwise from yours. 
I am sorry that you repudiate all amusements, as they 
contribute to the health of body and soul. You are 
sorry that I do not think as you do, and regulate my 
life accordingly. You are sure that you are right. I 
am equally sure that I am. Hence there is nothing 
to be done in either case but to let each other alone, 
and wait for the slow process of evolution to give to 
each of us a higher standard." Just then one of the 
officers asked me if I was ready for a game of whist, 
and I excused myself from further discussion. I met 
many of those dolorous saints in my travels, who spent 
so much thought on eternity and saving their souls 
that they lost all the joys of time, as well as those sweet 
virtues of courtesy and charity that might best fit 
them for good works on earth and happiness in heaven. 

I went to Nebraska when the Constitutional Con- 
vention was in session in Lincoln, and it was proposed 

1.— 17 

252 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to submit an amendment to strike the word "male" 
from the Constitution. Nebraska became a state in 
March, 1867, and took "Equality before the law" as 
her motto. Her territorial legislature had discussed, 
many times, proposed liberal legislation for women, 
and her state legislature had twice considered proposi- 
tions for woman's enfranchisement. I had a valise 
with me containing Hon. Benjamin F. Butler's minority 
reports as a member of the Judiciary Committee of 
the United States House of Representatives, in favor 
of woman's right to vote under the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment. As we were crossing the Platte River, in trans- 
ferring the baggage to the boat, my valise fell into 
the river. My heart stood still at the thought of 
such a fate for all those able arguments. After the 
great general had been in hot water all his life, it was 
grievous to think of any of his lucubrations perishing 
in cold water at last. Fortunately they were rescued. 
On reaching Lincoln I was escorted to the home of the 
governor, where I spread the documents in the sun- 
shine, and they were soon ready to be distributed among 
the members of the Constitutional Convention. 

After I had addressed the Convention, some of the 
members called on me to discuss the points of my 
speech. All the gentlemen were serious and respectful, 
with one exception. A man with an unusually small 
head, diminutive form, and crooked legs tried, at my 
expense, to be witty and facetious. During a brief 
pause in the conversation he brought his chair directly 
before me and said, in a mocking tone, "Don't you 
think that the best thing a woman can do is to perform 
well her part in the role of wife and mother? My wife 

Westward Ho! 253 

has presented me with eight beautiful children; is not 
this a better life-work than that of exercising the right 
of suffrage ?" 

I had had my eye on this man during the whole 
interview, and saw that the other members were 
annoyed at his behavior. I decided, when the oppor- 
tune moment arrived, to give him an answer not soon 
to be forgotten; so I promptly replied to his question, 
as I slowly viewed him from head to foot, "I have 
met few men in my life worth repeating eight times. " 
The members burst into a roar of laughter, and one 
of them, clapping him on the shoulder, said: "There, 
sonny, you have read and spelled; you better go." 
This scene was heralded in all the Nebraska papers, 
and wherever the little man went he was asked why 
Mrs. Stanton thought he was not worth repeating 
eight times. 

During my stay in Lincoln there was a celebration 
of the opening of some railroad. An immense crowd 
from miles about assembled on this occasion. The 
collation was spread and speeches were made in the 
open air. The men congratulated each other on the 
wonderful progress the state had made since it became 
an organized territory in 1854. There was not the 
slightest reference, at first, to the women. One 
speaker said : "This state was settled by three brothers, 
John, James, and Joseph, and from them have sprung 
the great concourse of people that greet us here to-day." 
I turned, and asked the governor if all these people 
had sprung, Minerva-like, from the brains of John, 
James, and Joseph. He urged me to put that question 
to the speaker; so, in one of his eloquent pauses, I pro- 

254 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

pounded the query, which was greeted with loud and 
prolonged cheers, to the evident satisfaction of the 
women present. The next speaker took good care to 
give the due meed of praise to Ann, Jane, and Mary, 
and to every mention of the mothers of Nebraska the 
crowd heartily responded. 

In toasting "the women of Nebraska," at the colla- 
tion, I said: "Here's to the mothers, who came hither 
by long, tedious journeys, closely packed with restless 
children in emigrant wagons, cooking the meals by 
day, and nursing the babies by night, while the men 
slept. Leaving comfortable homes in the East, they 
endured all the hardships of pioneer life, suffered, 
with the men, the attacks of the Dakota Indians and 
the constant apprehension of savage raids, of prairie 
fires, and the devastating locusts. Man's trials, his 
fears, his losses, all fell on woman with double force; 
yet history is silent concerning the part woman per- 
formed in the frontier life of the early settlers. Men 
make no mention of her heroism and divine patience; 
they take no thought of the mental or physical 
agonies women endure in the perils of maternity, 
ofttimes without nurse or physician in the supreme 
hour of their need, going, as every mother does, to 
the very gates of death in giving life to an immortal 
being !" 

Traveling all over these Western states in the early 
days, seeing the privations women suffered, and listen- 
ing to the tales of sorrow at the fireside, I wondered 
that men could ever forget the debt of gratitude they 
owed to their mothers, or fail to commemorate their 
part in the growth of a great people. Yet the men 

Westward Ho! 255 

of Nebraska have twice defeated the woman suffrage 

In 1874 Michigan was the point of interest to all 
those who had taken part in the woman-suffrage move- 
ment. The legislature, by a very large majority, sub- 
mitted to a vote of the electors an amendment of the 
Constitution, in favor of striking out the word "male" 
and thus securing civil and political rights to the women 
of the state. It was a very active campaign. Crowded 
meetings were held in all the chief towns and cities. 
Prof. Moses Coit Tyler, and a large number of min- 
isters preached every Sunday on the subject of woman's 
position. The Methodist Conference passed a reso- 
lution in favor of the amendment by a unanimous 
vote. I was in the state during the intense heat of 
May and June, speaking every evening to large audi- 
ences; in the afternoon to women alone, and preaching 
every Sunday in some pulpit. The Methodists, Uni- 
versalists, Unitarians, and Quakers all threw open 
their churches to the apostles of the new gospel of 
equality for women. We spoke in jails, asylums, 
depots, and the open air. Wherever there were ears 
to hear, we lifted up our voices, and, on the wings of 
the wind, the glad tidings were carried to the remote 
corners of the state, and the votes of forty thousand 
men, on election day, in favor of the amendment were 
so many testimonials to the value of the educational 
work accomplished. 

I visited the State Prison at Jackson, and addressed 
seven hundred men and boys, ranging from seventy 
down to seventeen years of age. Seated on the dais 
with the chaplain, I saw them file in to dinner, and, 

256 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

while they were eating, I had an opportunity to study 
the sad, despairing faces before me. I shall never for- 
get the hopeless expression of one young man, who had 
just been sentenced for twenty years, nor how ashamed 
I felt that one of my own sex, trifling with two lovers, 
had fanned the jealousy of one against the other, until 
the tragedy ended in the death of one and the almost 
lifelong imprisonment of the other. If girls should be 
truthful and transparent in any relations in life, surely 
it is in those of love, involving the strongest passion 
of which human nature is capable. As the chaplain 
told me the sad story, and I noticed the prisoner's re- 
fined face and well-shaped head, I felt that the young 
man was not under the right influences to learn the 
lesson he needed. Fear* coercion, punishment, are 
the masculine remedies for moral weakness, but sta- 
tistics show their failure for centuries. Why not 
change the system and try the education of the moral 
and intellectual faculties, cheerful surroundings, inspir- 
ing influences ? Everything in our present prison system 
tends to lower the physical vitality, the self-respect, the 
moral tone, and to harden instead of reforming the 

My heart was so heavy I did not know what to say 
to such an assembly of the miserable. I asked the 
chaplain what I should say. "Just what you please," 
he replied. Thinking they had probably heard enough 
of their sins, their souls, and the plan of salvation, I 
thought I would give them the news of the day. So I 
told them about the woman suffrage amendment, what 
I was doing in the state, my amusing encounters with 
opponents, their arguments, my answers. I told them 

Westward Ho! 257 

of the great changes that would be effected in prison 
life when the mothers of the nation had a voice in the 
buildings and discipline. I told them what Governor 
Bagley had said to me of the good time coming when 
prisons would no longer be places of punishment, but 
schools of reformation. To show them what women 
would do to realize this beautiful dream, I told them 
of Elizabeth Fry and Dorothea L. Dix, of Mrs. Farn- 
ham's experiment at Sing Sing, and Louise Michel's 
in New Caledonia, and, in closing, I said: "Now I 
want all of you who are in favor of the amendment to 
hold up your right hands. " They gave a unanimous 
vote, and laughed heartily when I said, "I do wish 
you could all go to the polls in November and that 
we could lock our opponents up here until after the 
election." I felt satisfied that they had had one 
happy hour, and that I had said nothing to hurt the 
feelings of the most unfortunate. As they filed off 
to their respective workshops my faith and hope for 
brighter days went with them. 

Then I went all through the prison. Everything 
looked clean and comfortable on the surface, but I met 
a few days after a man, just set free, who had been 
there five years for forgery. He told me the true in- 
wardness of the system; of the wretched, dreary life 
they suffered, and the brutality of the keepers. He 
said the prison was infested with mice and vermin, and 
that, during the five years he was there, he had never 
lain down one night to undisturbed slumber. The 
sufferings endured in summer for want of air, he said, 
were indescribable. In this prison the cells were in 
the center of the building, the corridors running all 

258 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

around by the windows, so the prisoners had no out- 
look and no direct contact with the air. Hence, if a 
careless keeper forgot to open the windows after a 
storm, the poor prisoners panted for air in their cells, 
like fish out of water. My informant worked in the 
mattress department, over the room where prisoners 
were punished. He said he could hear the lash and 
the screams of the victims from morning till night. 
"Hard as the work is all day," said he, "it is a blessed 
relief to get out of our cells to march across the yard 
and get one glimpse of the heavens above, and one 
breath of pure air, and to be in contact with other 
human souls in the workshops, for, although we could 
never speak to each other, yet there was a hidden 
current of sympathy conveyed by look that made us 
one in our misery." 

Chapter XVIII: The Spirit of 76 

THE year 1876 was one of intense excitement 
and laborious activity throughout the country. 
The anticipation of the centennial birthday 
of the Republic, to be celebrated in Philadelphia, 
stirred the patriotism of the people to the highest point 
of enthusiasm. As each state was to be represented 
in the great exhibition, local pride added another 
element to the public interest. Then, too, everyone 
who could possibly afford the journey was making 
busy preparations to spend the Fourth of July, the 
natal day of the Republic, 'mid the scenes where the 
Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776, the 
government inaugurated, and the first national councils 
were held. Those interested in women's political 
rights decided to make the Fourth a woman's day, 
and to celebrate the occasion, in their various local- 
ities, by delivering orations and reading their own 
declaration of rights, with dinners and picnics in the 
town halls or groves, as most convenient. But many 
from every state in the Union made their arrangements 
to spend the historic period in Philadelphia. Owing, 
also, to the large number of foreigners who came over 
to join in the festivities, that city was crammed to its 
utmost capacity. With the crowd and excessive heat, 
comfort was everywhere sacrificed to curiosity. 

The enthusiasm throughout the country had given a 

260 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

fresh impulse to the lyceum bureaus. Like the ferry- 
boats in New York harbor, running hither and thither, 
crossing each other's tracks, the whole list of lecturers 
were on the wing, flying to every town and city from 
San Francisco to New York. As soon as a new rail- 
road ran through a village of five hundred inhabitants 
that could boast a schoolhouse, a church, or a hotel, 
and one enterprising man or woman, a course of lec- 
tures was at once inaugurated as a part of the winter's 

On one occasion I was invited, by mistake, to a little 
town to lecture the same evening when the Christy 
Minstrels were to perform. It was arranged, as the 
town had only one hall, that I should speak from 
seven to eight o'clock and the minstrels should have the 
remainder of the time. One may readily see that, with 
the minstrels in anticipation, a lecture on any serious 
question would occupy but a small place in the hearts 
of the people in a town where they seldom had enter- 
tainments of any kind. All the time I was speaking 
there was a running to and fro behind the scenes, where 
the minstrels were transforming themselves with paints 
and curly wigs into Africans, and laughing at each 
other's jests. As it was a warm evening, and the win- 
dows were open, the hilarity of the boys in the street 
added to the general din. Under such circumstances 
it was difficult to preserve my equilibrium. I felt like 
laughing at my own comical predicament, and I 
decided to make my address a medley of anecdotes and 
stories, like a string of beads, held together by a fine 
thread of argument and illustration. The moment 
the hand of the clock pointed at eight o'clock the band 

The Spirit of '76 261 

struck up, thus announcing that the happy hour for 
the minstrels had come. Those of my audience who 
wished to stay were offered seats at half price; those 
who did not slipped out, and the crowd rushed in, soon 
packing the house to its utmost capacity. I stayed, 
and enjoyed the performance of the minstrels more 
than I had my own. 

As the lyceum season lasted from October to June, 
I was late in reaching Philadelphia. Appropriate 
headquarters for the National Suffrage Association 
had been found on the lower floor of No. 143 1 Chestnut 
Street. As it was the year for nominating candidates 
for the presidency of the United States, the Repub- 
licans and Democrats were about to hold their great 
conventions. Hence letters were to be written to 
them recommending a woman suffrage plank in their 
platforms, and asking seats for women in the conven- 
tions, with the privilege of being heard in their own 

Then it was thought pre-eminently proper that a 
Woman's Declaration of Rights should be issued. 
Days and nights were spent over that document. 
After many twists from analytical tweezers, with a 
critical consideration of every word and sentence, it 
was at last, by a consensus of the competent, pro- 
nounced very good. Thousands were ordered to be 
printed, and were folded, put in envelopes, stamped, 
directed, and scattered. Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, 
and I worked sixteen hours a day, pressing everyone 
who came in, into the service, and late at night carrying 
immense bundles to be mailed. With meetings, recep- 
tions, and a succession of visitors, all of whom we plied 

262 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

with woman suffrage literature, we felt we had accom- 
plished a great educational work. 

Among the most enjoyable experiences at our head- 
quarters were the frequent visits of our beloved Lucretia 
Mott, who used to come from her country home bring- 
ing us eggs, cold chicken, and fine Oolong tea. As 
she had presented us with a little black teapot that, like 
Mercury's mysterious pitcher of milk, filled itself for 
every coming guest, we often improvised luncheons 
with a few friends. At parting, Lucretia always made 
a contribution to our depleted treasury. Here we 
had many prolonged discussions as to the part we 
should take on the Fourth of July in the public cele- 
bration. We thought it would be fitting for us to read 
our Declaration of Rights immediately after that of 
the Fathers was read, as an impeachment of them and 
their male descendants for their injustice and oppres- 
sion. Ours contained as many counts, and quite as 
important, as those against King George in 1776. 
Accordingly, we applied to the authorities to allow us 
seats on the platform and a place in the program of 
the public celebration, which was to be held in the 
historic old Independence Hall. As General Hawley 
was in charge of the arrangements for the day, I wrote 
to him as follows: 

143 1 Chestnut Street, July 1, 1876. 
General Hawley. 

Honored Sir, — As President of the National Woman's Suffrage 
Association, I am authorized to ask you for tickets to the platform, 
at Independence Hall, for the celebration on the Fourth of July. 
We should like to have seats for at least one representative woman 
from each State. We also ask your permission to read our Declar- 
ation of Rights immediately after the reading of the Declaration 

The Spirit of '76 263 

of Independence of the Fathers is finished. Although these are 
small favors to ask as representatives of one-half of the nation, 
yet we shall be under great obligations to you if granted. 

Respectfully Yours, 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

To this I received the following reply: 

U. S. C. C. Headquarters, July 2. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

Dear Mcdam, — I send you, with pleasure, half a dozen cards of 
invitation. As the platform is already crowded, it is impossible 
to reserve the number of seats you desire. I regret to say it is 
also impossible for us to make any change in the programme at 
this late hour. We are crowded for time to carry out what is 
already proposed. 

Yours Very Respectfully, 

Joseph R. Hawley, 

President, U. S. C. C. 

With this rebuff, Mrs. Mott and I decided that we 
would not accept the offered seats, but would be ready 
to open our own convention called for that day, at the 
First Unitarian church. But some of our younger 
coadjutors decided that they would occupy the seats 
and present our Declaration of Rights. They said 
truly, women will be taxed to pay the expenses of 
this celebration, and we have as good a right to that 
platform and to the ears of the people as the men have, 
and we will be heard. 

That historic Fourth of July dawned at last, one 
of the most oppressive days of that heated season. 
Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews 
Spencer, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Phcebe W. Couzins 
made their way through the crowds under the broiling 
sun of Independence Square, carrying the Woman's 

264 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Declaration of Rights. This Declaration had been 
handsomely engrossed by one of their number, and 
signed by the oldest and most prominent advocates of 
woman's enfranchisement. Their tickets of admission 
proved an "open sesame'' through the military bar- 
riers, and, a few moments before the opening of the 
ceremonies, these women found themselves within the 
precincts from which most of their sex were excluded. 

The Declaration of 1776 was read by Richard Henry 
Lee of Virginia, about whose family clusters so much 
historic fame. The moment he finished reading was 
determined upon as the appropriate time for the pres- 
entation of the Woman's Declaration. Not quite sure 
how their approach might be met, not quite certain if, 
at this final moment, they would be permitted to reach 
the presiding officer, those ladies arose and made their 
way down the aisle. The bustle of preparation for the 
Brazilian hymn covered their advance. The foreign 
guests and the military and civil officers who filled the 
space directly in front of the speaker's stand, courte- 
ously made way, while Miss Anthony, in fitting words, 
presented the Declaration to the presiding officer. 
Senator Ferry's face paled as, bowing low, with no word 
he received the Declaration, which thus became part 
of the day's proceedings. The ladies turned, scattering 
printed copies as they deliberately walked down from 
the platform. On every side eager hands were out- 
stretched, men stood on seats and asked for them, 
while General Hawley, thus defied and beaten in his 
audacious denial to women of the right to present their 
Declaration, shouted, "Order, order!" 

Passing out, these ladies made their way to a plat- 

The Spirit of '76 265 

form, erected for the musicians, in front of Independ- 
ence Hall. Here, under the shadow of Washington's 
statue, back of them the old bell that proclaimed "lib- 
erty to all the land and all the inhabitants thereof," 
they took their places, and, to a listening, applauding 
crowd, Miss Anthony read the Woman's Declaration. 
During the reading of the Declaration, Mrs. Gage 
stood beside Miss Anthony and held an umbrella over 
her head, to shelter her friend from the intense heat of 
the noonday sun. And thus at the same hour, on 
opposite sides of the entrance to the old Independence 
Hall, did the men and women express their opinions 
on the great principles proclaimed on the natal day 
of the Republic. Our Declaration was handsomely 
framed, and now hangs in the Vice-President's room 
in the Capitol at Washington. 

These heroic ladies then hurried from Independence 
Hall to the church, already crowded with an expect- 
ant audience, to whom they gave a full report of the 
morning's proceedings. The Hutchinsons, of world- 
wide fame, were present in their happiest vein, inter- 
spersing the speeches with appropriate songs and 
felicitous remarks. For five long hours on that hot 
midsummer day a crowded audience, many standing, 
listened with profound interest, and reluctantly dis- 
persed at last, all agreeing that it was one of the most 
impressive and enthusiastic meetings they had ever 

Through all the busy preparations of the Centen- 
nial, the women of the nation felt sure that the great 
national celebration could not pass without the con- 
cession of some new liberties to them. Hence they 

266 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

pressed their claims at every point, at the Fourth of 
July celebration, in the exposition buildings, and in 
the Republican and Democratic nominating conven- 
tions; hoping to get a plank in the platforms of both 
the great political parties. 

The Woman's Pavilion upon the Centennial grounds 
was an afterthought, as theologians claim woman her- 
self to have been. The women of the country, after 
having contributed nearly one hundred thousand 
dollars to the Centennial stock, found there had been 
no provision made for the separate exhibition of their 
work. The Centennial board, of which Mrs. Gillespie 
was president, then decided to raise funds for the 
erection of a special building, to be known as the 
Woman's Pavilion. It covered an acre of ground, 
and was erected at an expense of thirty thousand 
dollars — a small sum in comparison with the money 
which had been raised by women and expended on 
the other buildings, not to speak of the state and 
national appropriations, which the taxes levied on 
them had largely helped to swell. 

The Pavilion was no true exhibit of woman's art. 
Few women are, as yet, owners of the business which 
their industry largely makes remunerative. Cotton 
factories, in which thousands of women work, are 
owned by men. The shoe business, in some branches 
of which women are doing more than half the work, 
is under the ownership of men. Rich embroideries 
from India, rugs of downy softness from Turkey, the 
muslin of Decca, anciently known as "The Woven 
Wind," the pottery and majolica ware of P. Pipsen's 
widow, the cartridges and envelopes of Uncle Sam, 

The Spirit of '76 267 

Waltham watches, whose finest mechanical work is 
done by women, and ten thousand other industries 
found no place in the Pavilion. Said United States 
Commissioner Meeker of Colorado, "Woman's work 
comprises three-fourths of the exposition; it is scat- 
tered through every building; take it away, and there 
would be no exposition. " 

But this Pavilion rendered one good service to 
woman in showing her capabilities as an engineer. 
The boiler, which furnished the force for running its 
work, was under the charge of a young Canadian girl, 
Miss Allison, who, from childhood, had loved machin- 
ery, spending much time in the large saw and grist 
mills of her father, run by engines of two and three 
hundred horse-power, which she sometimes managed 
for amusement. When her name was proposed for 
running the Pavilion machinery, it caused much oppo- 
sition. It was said that the committee would, some 
day, find the building blown to atoms; that the woman 
engineer would spend her time reading novels instead 
of watching the steam gauge; that the idea was imprac- 
ticable and should not be thought of. But Miss Allison 
soon proved her capabilities and the falseness of these 
prophecies by taking her place in the engine room and 
managing its workings with perfect ease. Six power- 
looms, on which women wove carpets, webbing, silks, 
etc., were run by this engine. At a later period the 
printing of The New Century for Woman, a paper pub- 
lished by the Centennial Commission in the woman's 
building, was done by its means. Miss Allison declared 
the work to be more cleanly, more pleasant, and infi- 
nitely less fatiguing than cooking over a kitchen stove. 


268 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

"Since I have been compelled to earn my own living," 
she said, "I have never been engaged in work I like 
so well. Teaching school is much harder, and one is 
not paid so well. ,, She expressed her confidence in her 
ability to manage the engines of an ocean steamer, 
and said that there were thousands of small engines 
in use in various parts of the country, and no reason 
existed why women should not be employed to manage 
them — following the profession of engineer as a regular 
business — an engine requiring far less attention than 
is given by a nursemaid or a mother to a child. 

But to have made the Woman's Pavilion grandly 
historic, upon its walls should have been hung the 
yearly protest of Harriet K. Hunt against taxation 
without representation; the legal papers served upon 
the Smith sisters when, for their refusal to pay taxes 
while unrepresented, their Alderney cows were seized 
and sold; the papers issued by the city of Worcester 
for the forced sale of the house and lands of Abby 
Kelly Foster, the veteran abolitionist, because she 
refused to pay taxes, giving the same reason our 
ancestors gave when they resisted taxation; a model 
of Bunker Hill monument, its foundation laid by 
Lafayette in 1825, but which remained unfinished 
nearly twenty years, until the famous German dan- 
seuse, Fanny Elssler, gave the proceeds of a public 
performance for that purpose. With these should 
have been exhibited framed copies of all the laws 
bearing unjustly upon women — those which rob her 
of her name, her earnings, her property, her children, 
her person; also the legal papers in the case of Susan 
B. Anthony, who was tried and fined for claiming her 

The Spirit of '76 269 

right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment; and 
the decision of Mr. Justice Miller in the case of Myra 
Bradwell, denying national protection for woman's 
civil rights; and the later decision of Chief Justice 
Waite of the United States Supreme Court against 
Virginia L. Minor, denying women national protection 
for their political rights. 

Woman's most fitting contributions to the Centen- 
nial Exposition would have been these protests, laws, 
and decisions, which show her political slavery. But 
all this was left for rooms outside of the Centennial 
grounds, upon Chestnut Street, where the National 
Woman's Suffrage Association hoisted its flag, made 
its protests, and wrote the Declaration of Rights of 
the women of the United States, 

To many thoughtful people it seemed captious and 
unreasonable for women to complain of injustice in 
this free land, amidst such universal rejoicings. When 
the majority of women are seemingly happy, it is 
natural to suppose that the discontent of the minority 
is the result of their unfortunate individual idiosyn- 
crasies, and not of adverse influences in established 
conditions. But the history of the world shows that 
the vast majority, in every generation, passively 
accept the conditions into which they are born, while 
those who demand larger liberties are ever a small, 
ostracized minority, whose claims are ridiculed and 
ignored. From our standpoint we would honor any 
Chinese woman who claimed the right to her feet and 
powers of locomotion; the Hindoo widows who refused 
to ascend the funeral pyre of their husbands; the 
Turkish women who threw off their veils and left the 

270 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

harem; the Mormon women who abjured their faith 
and demanded monogamic relations. Why not equally 
honor the intelligent minority of American women 
who protest against the artificial disabilities by which 
their freedom is limited and their development arrested? 
That only a few, under any circumstances, protest 
against the injustice of long-established laws and cus- 
toms, does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, 
while the satisfaction of the many, if real, only proves 
their apathy and deeper degradation. That a majority 
of the women of the United States accept, without 
protest, the disabilities which grow out of their dis- 
franchisement is simply an evidence of their ignorance 
and cowardice, while the minority who demand a 
higher political status clearly prove their superior 
intelligence and wisdom. 

Chapter XIX : Writing " The History of 
Woman Suffrage" 

THE four years following the Centennial were 
busy, happy ones, of varied interests and 
employments, public and private. Sons and 
daughters graduating from college, bringing troops of 
young friends to visit us; the usual matrimonial 
entanglements, with all their promises of celestial bliss 
intertwined with earthly doubts and fears; weddings, 
voyages to Europe, business ventures — in this whirl 
of plans and projects our heads, hearts, and hands 
were fully occupied. Seven boys and girls dancing 
round the fireside, buoyant with all life's joys opening 
before them, are enough to keep the most apathetic 
parents on the watchtowers by day, and anxious even 
in dreamland by night. My spare time, if it can be 
said that I ever had any, was given during these days 
to social festivities. The inevitable dinners, teas, pic- 
nics, and dances with country neighbors, all came 
round in quick succession. We lived, at this time, at 
Tenafly, New Jersey, not far from the publisher of the 
Sun, Isaac W. England, who also had seven boys and 
girls as full of frolic as our own. Mrs. England and I 
entered into all their games with equal zest. The 
youngest thought half the fun was to see our enthu- 
siasm in "blindman's bufF," "fox and geese," and 

272 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

"bean bags." It thrills me with delight, even now, to 
see these games! 

Mr. England was the soul of hospitality. He was 
never more happy than when his house was crowded 
with guests, and his larder with all the delicacies of the 
season. Though he and Mr. Stanton were both con- 
nected with that dignified journal, the New York Sun, 
yet they often joined in the general hilarity. I laugh, 
as I write, at the memory of all the frolics we had on 
the blue hills of Jersey. 

In addition to the domestic cares which a large 
family involved, I was already busy helping to collect 
material for The History of Woman Suffrage. This 
required no end of correspondence. Then my lectur- 
ing trips were still a part of the annual program. 
Washington conventions, too, with calls, appeals, 
resolutions, speeches, and hearings before the com- 
mittees of Congress and state legislatures, all these 
came round in the year's proceedings as regularly as 
pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, plum pudding for 
Christmas, and patriotism for Washington's Birthday. 
Then, too, those who speak for glory or philanthropy 
are always in demand for college commencements and 
Fourth of July orations; hence much of my eloquence 
was utilized in this way. 

During one of my short sojourns at Tenafly I had 
an impromptu dinner party. Elizabeth Boynton 
Harbert, May Wright Sewall, Phoebe W. Couzins, and 
Arethusa Forbes, returning from a Boston conven- 
tion, all by chance met under my roof. We had a 
very merry time talking over the incidents of the 
convention, Boston proprieties, and the general situ- 

Writing "History of Woman Suffrage" 273 

ation. 1 My great grief that day was that we were 
putting in a new range, and had made no preparations 
for dinner. This completely upset the presiding genius 
of my culinary department, as she could not give us 
the bounteous feast she knew was expected on such 
occasions. I, as usual, when there was any lack in 
the viands, tried to be as brilliant as possible in con- 
versation; discussing Nirvana, Karma, reincarna- 
tion, and thus turning attention from the evanescent 
things of earth to the joys of a life to come — not an 
easy feat to perform with strong-minded women — but 
in parting they seemed happy and refreshed, and all 
promised to come again. 

But we shall never meet there, as the old, familiar 
oaks and the majestic chestnut trees have passed into 
other hands. Strange lovers now whisper their vows 
of faith and trust under the tree where a most charming 
wedding ceremony — that of my daughter Margaret 
— was solemnized one bright October day. All Nature 
seemed to do her utmost to heighten the beauty of 
the occasion. The verdure was brilliant with autumnal 
tints, the hazy noonday sun lent a peculiar softness 
to every shadow — even the birds and insects were 
hushed to silence. As the wedding march rose soft 
and clear, two stately ushers led the way; then a 
group of Vassar classmates, gayly decked in silks of 
different colors, followed by the bride and groom. An 
immense Saint Bernard dog, on his own account, 
brought up the rear, keeping time with measured 
tread. He took his seat in full view, watching, alter- 

1 Diary, November 14, December 27, 1880; June 1, October 28, 1881; 
May 27, 1884; July 15, September 30, December 31, 1885. 

274 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

nately, the officiating clergyman, the bride and groom 
and guests, as if to say: "What does all this mean?" 
No one behaved with more propriety and no one 
looked more radiant than he, with a ray of sunlight 
on his beautiful coat of long hair, his bright brass 
collar, and his wonderful head. Bruno did not live 
to see the old home broken up, but sleeps peacefully 
there, under the chestnut trees, and fills a large place 
in many of our pleasant memories. 

The arrival of Miss Anthony and Mrs. Gage at 
Tenafly in November, 1880, banished all family matters 
from my mind. What planning, now, for volumes, 
chapters, footnotes, margins, appendices, paper and 
type; of engravings, title, preface, and introduction! 
I had never thought that the publication of a book 
required the consideration of such endless details. 
We stood appalled before the mass of material, growing 
higher and higher with every mail, and the thought 
of all the reading involved made us feel as if our life- 
work lay before us. Six weeks of steady labor all 
day, and often until midnight, made no visible decrease 
in the pile of documents. However, before the end 
of the month we had our arrangements all made with 
publishers and engravers, and six chapters in print. 
When we began to correct proof we felt as if something 
was accomplished. Thus we worked through the 
winter and far into the spring, with no change except 
the Washington Convention and an occasional evening 
meeting in New York City. 

We had numberless letters from friends and foes, 
some praising and some condemning our proposed 
undertaking. So conflicting was the tone of the 

Writing "History of Woman Suffrage" 275 

letters that, if we had not taken a very fair gauge of 
ourselves and our advisers, we should have abandoned 
our project and buried all the valuable material col- 
lected, to sleep in pine boxes forever. 

In May, 1881, the first volume of our History 
appeared; it was an octavo, containing 871 pages, 
with good paper, good print, handsome engravings, 
and nicely bound. I welcomed it with the same feeling 
of love and tenderness as I did my firstborn. I took 
the same pleasure in hearing it praised, and felt the 
same mortification in hearing it criticized. The most 
hearty welcome it received was from Rev. William 
Henry Channing. He wrote to us that it was as in- 
teresting and fascinating as a novel. He gave it a most 
flattering notice in one of the London papers. John 
W. Forney, too, wrote a good review and sent a friendly 
letter. Mayo W. Hazeltine, one of the ablest critics 
in this country, in the New York Sun, also gave it a 
very careful and complimentary review. In fact, we 
received far more praise and less blame than we antic- 
ipated. We began the second volume in June. In 
reading over the material concerning woman's work 
in the War, I felt how little our labors are appreciated. 
Who can sum up all the ills the women of a nation 
suffer from war? They have all of the misery and 
none of the glory; nothing to mitigate their weary 
waiting and watching for the loved ones who will 
return no more. 

In the spring of 1 88 1, to vary the monotony of the 
work on the history, we decided to hold a series of 
conventions through the New England States. We 
began during the Anniversary Week in Boston, and 

276 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

had several crowded, enthusiastic meetings in Tremont 
Temple. In addition to our suffrage meetings, I 
spoke before the Free Religious, Moral Education, 
and Heredity associations. We were received by 
Governor Long, at the State House. He made a short 
speech in favor of woman suffrage. We also called 
on the Mayor, at the City Hall, and went through 
Jordan & Marsh's great mercantile establishment, 
where the clerks are chiefly young girls, who are well 
fed and housed, and have pleasant rooms, with a good 
library, where they sit and read in the evening. 

Miss Anthony and I were invited to dine with the 
Bird Club. No woman, other than I, had ever had 
that honor before. I had dined with them in 1870, 
escorted by "Warrington" of the Springfield Repub- 
lican and Edwin Morton. Frank Bird, the founder 
of the club, held about the same place in political life 
in Massachusetts that Thurlow Weed did in the State 
of New York for forty years. 

I then hurried home to meet my son Theodore and 
his bride, who had just landed from France. We 
decorated our house and grounds with Chinese lan- 
terns and national flags for their reception. As we 
had not time to send to New York for bunting, our 
flags — French and American — were all made of bright 
red and blue cambric. The effect was fine when the 
young people arrived; but, unfortunately, there came 
up a heavy thunderstorm and so drenched our national 
emblems that they became colorless rags. My little 
maid announced to me early in the morning that "the 
French and Americans had had a great battle during 
the night and that the piazza was covered with blood." 

Writing "History of Woman Suffrage" 277 

This was startling news to one just awakening from a 
sound sleep. "Why, Emma!" I said, "what do you 
mean?" "Why," she replied, "the rain has washed 
all the color out of our flags, and the piazza is covered 
with red and blue streams of water." As the morning 
sun appeared in all its glory, chasing the dark clouds 
away, our decorations did indeed look pale and limp, 
and were promptly removed. 

I was happily surprised with my tall, stately daugh- 
ter, Marguerite Berry — a fine-looking girl of twenty, 
straight, strong, and sound, modest and pleasing. 
She can walk miles, sketches from nature with great 
skill and rapidity, and speaks three languages. I had 
always said to my sons; "When you marry, choose a 
woman with a spine and sound teeth; remember the 
teeth show the condition of the bones in the rest of 
the body." So, when Theodore introduced his wife 
to me, he said, "You see I have followed your advice; 
her spine is as straight as it should be, and every tooth 
in her head as sound as ivory." This reminds me of 
a young man who used to put up my stoves for the 
winter. He told me one day that he thought of getting 
married. "Well," I said, "above all things get a 
wife with a spine and sound teeth." Stove pipe in 
hand he turned to me with a look of surprise, and 
said: "Do they ever come without spines?" 

Toward the end of October Miss Anthony returned, 
after a rest of two months, and we commenced work 
again on the second volume of the History. All 
through the winter we worked diligently. My daughter 
Harriot came from Europe in February, determined 
that I should return with her, as she had not finished 

278 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

her studies. To expedite my task, she seized the 
laboring oar, prepared the last chapter and corrected 
the proof. As the children were scattered to the four 
points of the compass, and my husband spent the 
winter in the city, we decided to lease our house and 
all take a holiday. 

Chapter XX: In the South of France 

HAVING worked through nearly two years on 
the second volume of The History of Woman 
Suffrage, I looked forward with pleasure to a 
rest in the Old World, beyond the reach and sound of 
printers. On May 27, 1882, I sailed with my daughter 
Harriot on the Chateau Leoville for Bordeaux. 1 The 
many friends who came to see us off brought fruits 
and flowers, boxes of candied ginger to ward off sea- 
sickness, letters of introduction, and light literature 
for the voyage. We had all the daily and weekly 
papers, secular and religious, the new monthly mag- 
azines, and several novels. We thought we would 
do an immense amount of reading, but we did very 
little. Eating, sleeping, walking on deck, and watch- 
ing the ever-changing ocean are about all that most 
travelers care to do. 

We had a smooth, pleasant, uneventful voyage 
until the last night, when, on nearing the French coast, 
the weather became dark and stormy. The next 
morning our good steamer pushed slowly and care- 
fully up the broad, muddy Gironde, and landed us on 
the bustling quays of Bordeaux, where my son Theo- 
dore stood waiting to receive us. We spent a day in 
driving about Bordeaux, enjoying the mere fact of 
restoration to terra firma after twelve days' imprison- 

1 Diary, June 6, 1882. 

280 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

ment on the ocean. Maritime cities are much the 
same all the world over. The forests of masts, the 
heavily laden drays, the lounging sailors, the rough 
'longshoremen, and the dirty quays, are no more 
characteristic of Bordeaux than New York, London, 
and Liverpool. But Bordeaux itself was interesting 
as the birthplace of Montesquieu and as the capital of 
ancient Guienne and Gascony. It is a queer old 
town, with its innumerable soldiers and priests per- 
ambulating in all directions. The priests, in long 
black gowns and large black hats, have a solemn 
aspect; but the soldiers, walking lazily along, or 
guarding buildings that seem in no danger from any 
living thing, are useless and ridiculous. The heavy 
carts and harness move the unaccustomed observer 
to constant pity. One of their carts would weigh as 
much as three of ours, and all their carriages are 
equally heavy. 

It was a bright, cool day on which we took the train 
for Toulouse, and we enjoyed the delightful run 
through the very heart of old Gascony and Languedoc. 
It was evident that we were in the South, where the sun 
is strong, for, although summer had scarcely begun, 
the country already wore a brown hue. But the 
narrow strips of growing grain, the acres of grape 
vines, looking like young currant bushes, and the fig 
trees scattered here and there, appeared odd to the eye 
of a native of New York. 

We passed many historical spots during that after- 
noon journey up the valley of the Garonne. At Portets 
are the ruins of the Chateau of Langoiran, built before 
America was discovered, and, a few miles farther on, 

In the South of France 281 

we came to the region of the famous wines of Sauterne 
and Chateau- Yquem. Saint Macaire is a very ancient 
Gallo-Roman town, where they show one churches, 
walls, and houses built fifteen centuries ago. One of 
the largest towns has a history typical of this part of 
France, where wars of religion and conquest were 
once the order of the day. It was taken and retaken 
by the Goths, Huns, Burgundians, and Saracens, 
nobody knows how many times, and belonged, suc- 
cessively, to the kings of France, to the dukes of 
Aquitaine, to the kings of England, and to the counts 
of Toulouse. I sometimes wonder whether the inhab- 
itants of our American towns, whose growth and 
development have been free and untrammeled as that 
of a favorite child, appreciate the blessings that have 
been theirs. How true the lines of Goethe: "America, 
thou art much happier than our old continent; thou 
hast no castles in ruins, no fortresses; no useless 
remembrances, no vain enemies will interrupt the 
inward workings of thy life T^ 

We passed through Moissac, with its celebrated 
organ, a gift of Mazarin; through Castle Sarrazin, 
founded by the Saracens in the eighth century; through 
Montauban, that stronghold of the early Protestants, 
which suffered martyrdom for its religious faith; 
through Grisolles, built on a Roman highway, and, 
at last, in the dusk of the evening, we reached "the 
Capital of the South," that city of learning — curious, 
interesting old Toulouse. 

Laura Curtis Bullard, in her sketch of me in Our 
Famous Women, says: "In 1882 Mrs. Stanton went 
to France, on a visit to her son Theodore, and spenl; 

282 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

three months at the convent of La Sagesse, in the city 
of Toulouse. " This is quite true; but I have some- 
times tried to guess what her readers thought I was 
doing for three months in a convent. Weary of the 
trials and tribulations of this world, had I gone there 
to prepare in solitude for the next? Had I taken the 
veil in my old age? Or, like high-church Anglicans 
and Roman Catholics, had I made this my retreat? 
Not at all. My daughter wished to study French 
advantageously, my son lived in the mountains hard 
by, and the garden of La Sagesse, with its big trees, 
clean gravel paths, and cool shade, was the most 
delightful spot. 1 

In this religious retreat I met, from time to time, 
some of the most radical and liberal-minded residents 
of the South. Toulouse is one of the important uni- 
versity centers of France, and bears with credit the 
proud title of "the learned city. ,, With two distin- 
guished members of the faculty, the late Dr. Nicholas 
Joly and Professor Moliner of the law school, I often 
had most interesting discussions on all the great ques- 
tions of the hour. That three heretics — I should say, 
six, for my daughter, son, and his wife often joined 
the circle — could thus sit in perfect security, and 
debate, in the most unorthodox fashion, in these holy 
precincts, all the reforms, social, political, and religious, 
which the United States and France need in order to 
be in harmony with the spirit of the age, was a striking 
proof of the progress the world has made in freedom 
of speech. The time was when such acts would have 
cost us our lives, even if we had been caught expressing 

1 Diary, July 20, August 13, 1882. 

In the South of France 283 

our heresies in the seclusion of our own homes. But 
here, under the oaks of a Catholic convent, with the 
gray-robed sisters all around us, we could point out the 
fallacies of Romanism itself, without fear or trembling. 
Glorious Nineteenth Century, what conquests are 

I shall say nothing of the picturesque streets of 
antique Toulouse; nothing of the priests, who swarm 
like children in an English town; nothing of the beau- 
tifully carved stone facades of the ancient mansions, 
once inhabited by the nobility of Languedoc, but now 
given up to trade and commerce; nothing of the lofty 
brick cathedrals, whose exteriors remind one of London, 
and whose interiors transfer you to "the gorgeous 
East;" nothing of the Capitol, with its gallery rich in 
busts of the celebrated sons of the South; nothing of 
the museum, the public garden, and the broad river 
winding through all. I must leave all these interest- 
ing features of Toulouse and hasten up into the Black 
Mountains, a few miles away, where I saw the country 
life of modern Languedoc. 

At Jacournassy, the country seat of Mme. Berry, 
whose daughter my son Theodore married, I spent 
a month full of surprises. How everything differed 
from America, and even from the plain below! The 
peasants, many of them at least, can neither speak 
French nor understand it. Their language is a patois, 
resembling both Spanish and Italian, and they cling 
to it with astonishing pertinacity. Their agricultural 
implements are not less quaint than their speech. The 
plow is a long beam with a most primitive share in 
the middle, a cow at one end, and a boy at the other. 

1.— 19 

284 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The grain is cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail 
on the barn floor, as in Scripture times. Manure is 
scattered over the fields with the hands. There was a 
certain pleasure in studying these old-time ways. I 
caught glimpses of the anti-revolutionary epoch, when 
the king ruled the state and the nobles held the lands. 
Here again I saw, as never before, what vast strides the 
world has made within one century. 

But, indoors, one returns to modern times. The 
table, beds, rooms of the chateau were much the same 
as those of Toulouse and New York City. The cook- 
ing is not like ours, however, unless Delmonico's skill 
be supposed to have extended to all the homes in Man- 
hattan Island, which is, unfortunately, not the case. 
What an admirable product of French genius is the 
art of cooking! Of incalculable value have been the 
culinary teachings of Vatel and his followers. 

One of the sources of amusement, during my sojourn 
at Jacournassy, was of a literary nature. My son 
Theodore was then busy collecting the materials for 
his book entitled The Woman Question in Europe, and 
every post brought in manuscripts and letters from 
all parts of the continent, written in almost every 
tongue known to Babel. So just what I went abroad 
to avoid, I found on the very threshold where I came 
to rest. We had good linguists at the chateau, and 
every document finally came forth in English dress, 
which, however, often needed much altering and polish- 
ing. This was my part of the work. So, away off" in 
the heart of France, high up in the Black Mountains, 
surrounded with French-speaking relatives and patois- 
speaking peasants, I found myself once more putting 

In the South of France 285 

bad English into the best I could command, just as I 
had so often done in America, when editor of The 
Revolution, or when arranging manuscript for The 
History of Woman Suffrage. But it was labor in the 
cause of my sex; it was aiding in the creation of The 
Woman Question in Europe, and so my pen did not 
grow slack nor my hand weary. 

The scenery in the Black Mountains is very grand, 
and reminds one of the lofty ranges of mountains 
around the Yosemite Valley in California. In the 
distance are the snow-capped Pyrenees, producing a 
solemn beauty, a profound solitude. We used to go 
every evening where we could see the sun set and 
watch the changing shadows in the broad valley below. 
Another great pleasure here was watching the gradual 
development of my first grandchild, Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton. She was a fine child; though only three 
months old, her head was covered with dark hair, and 
her large blue eyes looked out with intense earnestness 
from beneath her well-shaped brow. 

One night I had a terrible fright. I was the only 
person sleeping on the ground floor of the chateau, 
and my room was at the extreme end of the building, 
with the staircase on the other side. I had frequently 
been cautioned not to leave my windows open, as 
some one might get in. But, as I always slept with 
an open window, winter and summer, I thought I would 
take the risk, rather than endure a feeling of suffoca- 
tion night after night. The blinds were solid, and to 
close them was to exclude all the air, so I left them 
open about a foot, braced by an iron hook. A favorite 
resort for a pet donkey was under my window, where 

286 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

he had uniformly slept in profound silence. But one 
glorious moonlight night, probably to arouse me to 
enjoy with him the exquisite beauty of our surround- 
ings, he put his nose through the aperture and gave 
one of the most prolonged, resounding brays I ever 
heard. Startled from a deep sleep, I was so frightened 
that at first I could not move. My next impulse was 
to rush out and arouse the family, but, seeing a dark 
head in the window, I thought I would slam down the 
heavy sash and check the intruder before starting. 
But just as I approached the window, another agonizing 
bray announced the innocent character of my midnight 
visitor. Stretching out of the window to frighten him 
away, a gentleman in the room above me, for the same 
purpose, dashed down a pail of water, which the donkey 
and I shared equally. He ran off at a double-quick 
pace, while I made a hasty retreat. 

When I returned to Toulouse and our quiet convent, 
the sisters gave me a most affectionate welcome, and I 
had many pleasant chats, sitting with them in the 
gardens. The convent consisted of three large build- 
ings, each three stories high, and a residence for the 
priests; also a chapel, where women, at their devo- 
tions, might be seen at various hours from four o'clock 
in the morning until evening. Inclosed within a high 
stone wall were beautiful gardens with fountains and 
shrines, where images of departed saints, in alcoves 
lighted with tapers were worshiped on certain days of 
the year. 

Such were our environments, and our minds natu- 
rally often dwelt on the nature and power of the religion 
that had built up and maintained for centuries these 

In the South of France 287 

peaceful resorts, where cultivated, scholarly men, 
and women of fine sensibilities, could find rest from 
the struggles of the outside world. The sisters who 
managed this large establishment seemed happy in 
the midst of their severe and multifarious duties. 
Of the undercurrent of their lives I could not judge, 
but on the surface all seemed smooth and satisfactory. 
They evidently took great pleasure in the society of 
each other. Every evening, from six to eight, they 
all sat in the gardens in a circle together, sewing, 
knitting, and chatting, with occasional merry bursts 
of laughter. Their existence is not, by many degrees, 
as monotonous as that of most women in isolated 
households — especially of the farmer's wife in her 
solitary home, miles away from a village and a post 
office. They taught a school of fifty orphan girls, 
who lived in the convent, and for whom they fre- 
quently had entertainments. They also had a few 
boarders of the old aristocracy of France, who hate 
the Republic, and still cling to their belief in popes 
and kings. 

Theodore, his wife, and baby, and Mr. Blatch, a 
young Englishman, came to visit us. The sisters and 
school children manifested great delight in the baby, 
and the former equal pleasure in Mr. Blatch's marked 
attention to my daughter, as babies and courtships 
were unusual tableaux in a convent. As my daughter 
was studying for a university degree in mathematics, 
I went with her to the Lycee, a dreary apartment in a 
gloomy old building with bare walls, bare floors, dilapi- 
dated desks and benches, and an old rusty stove. Yet 
mid such surroundings, the professor always appeared 

288 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

in full dress, making a stately bow to his class. I had 
heard so much of the universities of France that I had 
pictured to myself dignified buildings, like those of our 
universities; but, instead, I found that the lectures 
were given in isolated rooms, here, there, and any- 
where^ — uniformly dreary inside and outside. 

The first day we called on Professor Depesyrons, 
after making all our arrangements for books and 
lectures, he suddenly turned to my daughter, and, 
pointing to the flounces on her dress, her jaunty hat, 
and some flowers in a buttonhole, he smiled, and said: 
"All this, and yet you love mathematics ?" As we 
entered the court, on our way to the Lycee, and inquired 
for the professor's lecture room, the students in little 
groups watched us closely. The one who escorted us 
asked several questions, and discovered, by our accent, 
that we were foreigners, a sufficient excuse for the 
novelty of our proceeding. The professor received 
us most graciously, and ordered the janitor to bring 
us chairs, table, paper, and pencils. 

Then we chatted pleasantly until the hour arrived 
for his lecture. As I had but little interest in the sub- 
ject, and as the problems were pronounced in a foreign 
tongue, I took my afternoon nap. There was no dan- 
ger of affronting the professor by such indifference to 
his eloquence, as he faced the blackboard, filling it with 
signs and figures as rapidly as possible; then expunging 
them to refill again and again, without a break in his 
explanations, talking as fast as his hand moved. 

We made several pleasant acquaintances among 
some Irish families who were trying to live on their 
reduced incomes in Toulouse. One of these gave us 

In the South of France 289 

a farewell ball. As several companies of the French 
army were stationed there, we met a large number of 
officers at the ball. I had always supposed the French 
were graceful dancers. I was a quiet " looker on in 
Vienna," so I had an opportunity of comparing the 
skill of the different nationalities. All admitted that 
none glided about so easily and gracefully as the 
Americans. They seemed to move without the least 
effort, while the English, the French, and the Germans 
labored in their dancing, bobbing up and down, jump- 
ing and jerking, out of breath and red in the face in 
five minutes. 

Every holiday must have its end. Other duties 
called me to England. So, after a hasty good-by to 
Jacournassy and La Sagesse, to the Black Mountains 
and Toulouse, to Languedoc and the South, we took 
train one day in October, just as the first leaves began 
to fall, and, in fourteen hours were at Paris. I had 
not seen the beautiful French capital since 1840. My 
sojourn within its enchanting walls was short — too 
short — and I woke one morning to find myself, after 
an absence of forty-two years, again on the shores of 
England, and before my eyes were fairly open, grim 
old London welcomed me back. 

Chapter XXI: Reforms and Reformers in 

Great Britain 

REACHING London in the fogs and mists of 
November, the first person I met, after a 
* separation of many years, was our revered 
and beloved friend, William Henry Channing. The 
tall, graceful form was somewhat bent; the sweet, 
thoughtful face somewhat sadder; the crimes and 
miseries of the world seemed heavy on his heart. 
With his refined, nervous organization, the gloomy 
moral and physical atmosphere of London was the 
last place on earth where that beautiful life should 
have ended. I found him in earnest conversation 
with my daughter and the young Englishman she 
was soon to marry, advising them not only as to the 
importance of the step they were about to take, but 
as to the minor points to be observed in the ceremony. 1 
At the appointed time a few friends gathered in Port- 
land Street Chapel, and as we approached the altar 
our friend appeared in surplice and gown, his pale, 
spiritual face more tender and beautiful than ever. 
This was the last marriage service he ever performed, 
and it was as touching as original. His whole appear- 
ance was so in harmony with the exquisite sentiments 
he uttered, that we who listened felt as if we had 
entered with him into the Holv of Holies. 

Some time after Miss Anthony and I called on him 

1 Diary, November 13, 1882. 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 291 

to return our thanks for the very complimentary 
review he had written of The History of Woman Suf- 
frage. He thanked us in turn for the many pleasant 
memories we had revived in those pages, "but," said 
he, "they have filled me with indignation, too, at the 
repeated insults offered to women so earnestly engaged 
in honest endeavors for the uplifting of mankind. I 
blushed for my sex more than once in reading these 
volumes. " We lingered long, talking over the events 
connected with our great struggle for freedom. He 
dwelt with tenderness on our disappointments, and 
entered more fully into the degradation suffered by 
women, than any man we ever met. His views were 
as appreciative of the humiliation of woman, as those 
expressed by John Stuart Mill in his wonderful work 
on The Subjection of Women. He was intensely in- 
terested in Frances Power Cobbe's efforts to suppress 
vivisection, and the last time I saw him he was pre- 
siding at a parlor meeting where Dr. Elizabeth Black- 
well gave an admirable address on the cause and cure 
of the social evil. Mr. Channing spoke beautifully in 
closing, paying a warm and merited compliment to 
Doctor Blackwell's clear and concise review of all the 
difficulties involved in the question. 

Reading so much of English reformers in our journals, 
of the Brights, McLarens, the Taylors, of Lydia Becker, 
Josephine Butler, and Octavia Hill, and of their great 
demonstrations, with lords and members of Parlia- 
ment in the chair — we had longed to compare the 
actors in those scenes with our speakers on this side 
of the water. At last we met them one and all in 
great public meetings and parlor reunions, at dinners 

292 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and receptions. We listened to their public men in 
Parliament, the courts, and the pulpit; to the women 
in their various assemblies; and came to the conclu- 
sion that Americans surpass them in oratory and the 
conduct of their meetings. A hesitating, apologetic 
manner seems to be the national custom for an exor- 
dium on all questions. Even their ablest men who 
have visited this country, such as Kingsley, Stanley, 
Arnold, Tyndall, and Coleridge, have all been criticized 
by the American public for their elocutionary defects. 
They have no speakers to compare with Wendell 
Phillips, George William Curtis, or Anna Dickinson. 

I reached England in time to attend the great demon- 
stration in Glasgow, to celebrate the extension of the 
municipal franchise to the women of Scotland. It 
was a remarkable occasion. St. Andrew's immense 
hall was packed with women. When a Scotch audi- 
ence is thoroughly roused, nothing can equal the 
enthusiasm. The arrival of the speakers on the plat- 
form was announced with the wildest applause; the 
entire audience rising, waving their handkerchiefs, 
and clapping their hands, and every compliment paid 
the people of Scotland was received with similar out- 
bursts. Mrs. McLaren, a sister of John Bright, 
presided, and made the opening speech. And here I 
had the honor of addressing an audience for the first 
time in the Old World. 

Our system of conventions, of two or three days' 
duration, with long speeches discussing pointed and 
radical resolutions, is quite unknown in England. 
Their meetings consist of one session of a few hours, 
into which they crowd all the speakers they can sum- 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 293 

mon. They have a few tame, printed resolutions, on 
which there can be no possible difference of opinion, 
with the names of those who are to speak appended. 
Each of these is read and a few short speeches are 
made, that may or may not have the slightest refer- 
ence to the resolutions, which are then passed. The 
last is usually one of thanks to some lord or member 
of the House of Commons, who may have conde- 
scended to preside at the meeting or do something 
for the measure in Parliament. The Queen is referred 
to tenderly in most of the speeches, although she has 
never done anything to merit the approbation of the 
advocates of suffrage for women. 

From Glasgow quite a large party of the Brights 
and McLarens went to Edinburgh, where the Hon. 
Duncan McLaren gave us a warm welcome to Newing- 
ton House, under the very shadow of the Salisbury 
crags. We passed a few charming days driving about, 
visiting old friends, and discussing the status of woman 
on both sides of the Atlantic. Here we met Elizabeth 
Pease Nichol and Jane and Eliza Wigham, whom I 
had not seen since we sat together in the World's 
Antislavery Convention, in London, in 1840. Yet I 
knew Mrs. Nichol at once; her strongly marked face 
was not readily forgotten. 

I went with the family one Sunday to the Friends' 
meeting, where a most unusual manifestation for that 
decorous sect occurred. I had been told that, if I felt 
inclined, it would be considered quite proper for me 
to make some remarks, and just as I was revolving an 
opening sentence to a few thoughts I desired to present, 
a man arose in a remote part of the house and began, in 

294 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

a low voice, to give his testimony as to the truth that 
was in him. All eyes were turned toward him, when 
suddenly a Friend leaned over the back of the seat, 
seized his coat tails and jerked him down in a most 
emphatic manner. The poor man buried his face in 
his hands, and maintained a profound silence. I 
learned afterward that he was a bore, and the Friend 
in the rear thought it wise to nip him in the bud. This 
scene put to flight all intentions of speaking on my 
part, lest I, too, might get outside the prescribed limits 
and be suppressed by force. 

With my son Theodore, always deeply interested in 
my friends and public work, I called, during a stay in 
London, on the Hon. John Bright, at his residence in 
Piccadilly. 1 As his photograph, with his fame, had 
reached America, his fine face and head, as well as his 
political opinions, were quite familiar to us. He 
received us with great cordiality, and manifested a 
clear knowledge and deep interest in regard to all 
American affairs. Free trade formed the basis of 
our conversation; the literature of our respective 
countries and our great men and women were the 
lighter topics of the occasion. He was not sound in 
regard to the political rights of women, but it is not 
given to any one man to be equally clear on all ques- 
tions. He voted for John Stuart Mill's amendment 
to the Household Suffrage Bill in 1867, but, he said, 
"that was a personal favor to a friend, without any 
strong convictions as to the merits of what I considered 
a purely sentimental measure." 

Later we went out to Barn Elms to visit Mr. and 
1 Diary, November 20, 1882. 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 295 

Mrs. Charles McLaren. He was a member of Par- 
liament, a Quaker by birth and education, and had 
sustained, to his uttermost ability, the suffrage move- 
ment. His charming wife, the daughter of Mrs. 
Pochin, is worthy of the noble mother who was among 
the earliest leaders on that question — speaking and 
writing with ability, on all phases of the subject. 
Barn Elms is a fine old estate, a few miles out of 
London. It was the dairy farm of Queen Elizabeth, 
and was presented by her to Sir Francis Walsingham. 
Since then it has been inhabited by many persons of 
note. It has existed as an estate since the time of the 
early Saxon kings, and the record of the sale of Barn 
Elms in the time of King Athelstane is still extant. 
What with its well-kept lawns, fine old trees, glimpses 
here and there of the Thames winding round its bor- 
ders, and its wealth of old associations, it is, indeed, a 
charming spot. Our memory of those days will not 
go back to Saxon kings, but remain with the liberal 
host and hostess, the beautiful children, and the many 
charming acquaintances we met at that fireside. I 
doubt whether any of the ancient lords and ladies 
who dispensed their hospitalities under that roof did 
in any way surpass the present occupants. 

It was at Barn Elms I met, for the first time, Mrs. 
Fannie Hertz, 1 to whom I was indebted for many 
pleasant acquaintances afterward. She is said to 
know more distinguished literary people than any 
other woman in London. At one of her Sunday after- 
noon receptions I found George Jacob Holyoake sur- 
rounded by several young ladies, all stoutly defending 

1 Diary, November z6 f 1882; January 1, 1 

296 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the Nihilists in Russia, and their right to plot their 
way to freedom. They counted a dynasty of Czars 
as nothing in the balance with the liberties of a whole 
people. As I joined the circle, Mr. Holyoake called 
my attention to the fact that he was the only one in 
favor of peaceful measures. "Now," said he, "I 
have often heard it said on your platform that the 
feminine element in politics would bring about per- 
petual peace in government, and here all these ladies 
are advocating the worst forms of violence in the 
name of liberty." "Ah !" said I, " lay on their shoulders 
the responsibility of governing, and they would soon 
become as mild and conservative as you seem to be." 
He then gave us his views on co-operation, the only 
remedy for many existing evils, which he thought 
would be the next step toward a higher civilization. 

In company with John P. Thomasson, member of 
Parliament, and his wife, I first visited the House of 
Commons. The place assigned ladies is really a dis- 
grace to a country ruled by a queen. This dark perch 
is the highest gallery, immediately over the speaker's 
desk and government seats, behind a fine wire netting, 
so that it is quite impossible to see or hear anything. 
The sixteen persons who can crowd into the front 
row, by standing with their noses partly through the 
open network, can have the satisfaction of seeing the 
cranial arch of their rulers and hearing an occasional 
paean to liberty, or an Irish grow! at the lack of it. I 
was told that this network was to prevent the members 
on the floor from being disturbed by the beauty of 
the women. On hearing this I remarked that I was 
devoutly thankful that our American men were not 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 297 

so easily disturbed, and that the beauty of our women 
was not of so dangerous a type. I could but contrast 
with these dark, dingy buildings, our spacious galleries 
in that magnificent Capitol at Washington, as well 
as in our State Capitols, where hundreds of women 
can sit at their ease and see and hear their rulers. 
My son, who had a seat on the floor just opposite the 
ladies' gallery, said he could compare our appearance 
to nothing but birds in a cage. He could not distin- 
guish an outline of anybody. All he could see was 
the moving of feathers and furs or some bright ribbon 
or flower. 

One of the most remarkable and genial women I met 
was Miss Frances Power Cobbe. She called one after- 
noon, and sipped with me the five o'clock tea, a uniform 
practice in England. She was of medium height, stout, 
rosy, and vigorous-looking, with a large, well-shaped 
head, a strong, happy face, and gifted with rare powers 
of conversation. She gave us an account of her efforts 
to rescue unhappy cats and dogs from the hands of 
the vivisectionists. We saw her, too, in her home, 
and in her office in Victoria Street. The perfect order 
in which her books and papers were arranged, and the 
exquisite neatness of the apartments, were refreshing 
to behold. 

My daughter, having decided opinions of her own, 
was soon at loggerheads with Miss Cobbe on the 
question of vivisection. After we had examined 
several German and French books, with illustrations 
showing the horrible cruelty inflicted on cats and dogs, 
she enlarged on the hypocrisy and wickedness of these 
scientists, and, turning to my daughter, said: " Would 

298 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

you shake hands with one of these vivisectionists?" 
"Yes," said Harriot, "I should be proud to shake 
hands with Virchow, the great German scientist, for 
his kindness to a young American girl. She applied 
to several professors to be admitted to their classes, 
but all refused except Virchow; he readily assented, 
and requested his students to treat her with becoming 
courtesy. 'If any of you behave otherwise/ said he, 
'I shall feel myself personally insulted.' She entered 
his classes and pursued her studies, unmolested, and 
with great success. Now, would you, Miss Cobbe, 
refuse to shake hands with any of your statesmen, 
scientists, clergymen, lawyers, or physicians who treat 
women with constant indignities and insult?" "Oh, 
no!" said Miss Cobbe. "Then," said Harriot, "you 
estimate the physical suffering of cats and dogs as of 
more consequence than the humiliation of human 
beings. The man who uses a cat for a scientific pur- 
pose is not as guilty as one who sacrifices his own 
daughter to some cruel custom." 

As we were just then reading Froude's Life oj Carlyle, 
we drove by the house where Carlyle had lived, and 
paused a moment at the door where poor Jennie went 
in and out so often with a heavy heart. The book 
gives a painful record of a great soul struggling with 
poverty and disappointment; the hope of success, as 
an author, so long deferred and never realized. His 
foolish pride of independence and headship, and his 
utter indifference to his domestic duties and the com- 
fort of his wife made the picture still darker. Poor 
Jennie! fitted to shine in any circle, yet doomed, all 
her married life, to domestic drudgery, instead of 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 299 

associations with the great man for whose literary 
companionship she had sacrificed everything. 

At one of Miss Biggs' receptions I met Mr. Stansfeld, 
M. P., who had labored faithfully for the repeal of 
the Contagious Diseases Act, and had in a measure 
been successful. We had the honor of an interview 
with Lord Shaftesbury, at one of his crowded "at 
homes, ,, and found him a little uncertain as to the 
wisdom of allowing married women to vote, "for fear 
of disturbing the peace of the family." I have often 
wondered if men see, in this objection, what a fatal 
admission they make as to their love of domination. 

To the great Liberal Conference, at Leeds, on Octo- 
ber 17, 1882, Helen Bright Clark, Jane Cobden, and 
several other ladies were duly elected delegates from 
their respective local Leagues. Mrs. Clark and 
Miss Cobden, daughters of the great corn-law reform- 
ers, Richard Cobden and John Bright, spoke elo- 
quently in favor of the resolution to extend Par- 
liamentary suffrage to women, which was presented 
by Walter McLaren of Bradford. As Mrs. Clark 
made her impassioned appeal for the recognition of 
woman's political equality in the next bill for exten- 
sion of suffrage, that immense gathering of sixteen 
hundred delegates was hushed into profound silence. 
For a daughter to speak thus in that great representa- 
tive convention, in opposition to her loved and hon- 
ored father, the acknowledged leader of the party, 
was an act of heroism and fidelity to her own highest 
convictions almost without a parallel in English his- 
tory, and the effect on the audience was as thrilling 

as it was surprising. The resolution was passed by a 

1.— 20 

300 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

large majority. At the reception given to John Bright 
that evening, as Mrs. Clark approached the dais on 
which her father stood shaking the hands of passing 
friends, she remarked to her husband, "I wonder if 
father has heard of my speech this morning, and if he 
will forgive me for thus publicly differing with him? ,, 
The query was soon answered. As he caught the 
first glimpse of his daughter he stepped down, and, 
pressing her hand affectionately, kissed her on either 

The next evening the great Quaker statesman was 
heard by the admiring thousands who could crowd into 
Victoria Hall, while thousands, equally desirous to 
hear, failed to get tickets of admission. It was a 
magnificent sight, and altogether a most impressive 
gathering of the people. When John Bright, escorted 
by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, took his seat, the immense 
crowd rose, waving hats and handkerchiefs, and, with 
the wildest enthusiasm, gave cheer after cheer in 
honor of the great leader. Sir Wilfrid Lawson, in his 
introductory remarks, facetiously alluded to the reso- 
lution adopted by the Conference as somewhat in 
advance of the ideas of the speaker of the evening. 
The house broke into roars of laughter, while the 
Father of Liberalism, perfectly convulsed, joined in 
the general merriment. 

But when at length his time to speak had come, and 
Mr. Bright went over the many steps of progress that 
had been taken by the Liberal party, he cunningly 
dodged the question of the emancipation of the women 
of England. He skipped round the agitation of 1867, 
and John Stuart Mill's amendment presented at that 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 301 

time in the House of Commons; the extension of the 
municipal suffrage in 1869; the participation of women 
in the establishment of national schools under the 
law of 1870, both as voters and members of school 
boards; the Married Women's Property Bill of 1882; 
the large and increasing vote for the extension of 
Parliamentary suffrage in the House of Commons, and 
the adoption of the resolution by that great Confer- 
ence the day before — all these successive steps toward 
woman's emancipation he carefully remembered to 

While in London I attended several enthusiastic 
reform meetings. I heard Bradlaugh address his con- 
stituency on that memorable day at Trafalgar Square, 
at the opening of Parliament, when violence was antic- 
ipated and the Parliament Houses were surrounded 
by immense crowds, with the military and police in 
large numbers, to maintain order. I heard Michael 
Davitt at a great meeting in Exeter Hall on home 
rule for Ireland. The facts and figures given as to 
the abject poverty of the people and the cruel system 
by which every inch of land had been grabbed by their 
oppressors, were indeed appalling. 

While attending a meeting in Birmingham I stayed 
with a relative of Joseph Sturge, whose home I had 
visited forty years before. The meeting was called to 
discuss the degradation of women under the Conta- 
gious Diseases Act. Led by Josephine Butler, the 
women of England were deeply stirred on the question 
and have since secured its repeal. I heard Mrs. 
Butler speak in many of her society's meetings as well 
3s on other occasions, Her style was not unlike that 

302 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

one hears in Methodist camp meetings from the most 
cultivated of that sect; her power lies in her deeply 
religious enthusiasm In London we met Emily 
Faithful, who had just returned from a lecturing tour 
in the United States, and were much amused with her 
experiences. Having myself taken prolonged trips 
over the whole country, from Maine to Texas, for 
many successive years, I could easily add the superla- 
tive to all her narrations. 

It was a pleasant surprise to meet a large number 
of Americans at the receptions of Mrs. Peter Taylor. 
Graceful and beautiful, in full dress, standing beside 
her husband, who evidently idolized her Mrs. Taylor 
appeared quite as refined in her drawing room as if 
she had never been exposed to the public gaze while 
presiding over a suffrage convention. Mrs. Taylor is 
called the mother of the suffrage movement. The 
reform has not been carried on in all respects to her 
taste, nor on what she considers the basis of high prin- 
ciple. Neither she nor Mrs. Jacob Bright has ever 
been satisfied with the bill asking the rights of suffrage 
for " widows and spinsters' 3 only. They both felt 
that, as married women were the greatest sufferers 
under the law, they should be the first rather than 
the last to be enfranchised. The others, led by Miss 
Becker, claimed that it was good policy to make the 
demand for "spinsters and widows," and thus exclude 
the "family unit" and "man's headship" from the 
discussion; and yet these were the very points on 
which the objections were invariably based. They 
claimed that, if "spinsters and widows" were enfran- 
chised, they would be an added power to secure to 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 303 

married women their rights. But the history of the 
past gives us no such assurance. It is not certain 
that women would be more just than men, and a smalL 
privileged class of aristocrats have long governed their 
fellow-countrymen. The fact that the spinsters in 
the movement advocated such a bill, shows that they 
were not to be trusted in extending the measure. John 
Stuart Mill, too, was always opposed to the exclusion 
of married women in the demand for suffrage. 

My sense of justice was severely tried by all I heard 
of the persecutions of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Bradlaugh 
for their publications on the right and duty of parents 
to limit population. Who can contemplate the sad 
condition of multitudes of young children in the Old 
World whose fate is to be brought up in ignorance and 
vice — a swarming, seething mass which nobody owns 
— without seeing the need of free discussion of the 
philosophical principles that underlie these tangled 
social problems? 

Mrs. Thomasson, daughter of Mrs. Lucas, gave 
several parties, receptions, and dinners — some for 
ladies only — where an abundant opportunity was 
offered for a critical analysis of the idiosyncrasies of 
the superior sex, especially in their dealings with 
women. The patience of even such heroic souls as 
Lydia Becker and Caroline Biggs was almost exhausted 
with the tergiversations of Members of the House of 
Commons. Alas for the many fair promises broken, 
the hopes deferred, the votes fully relied on and counted, 
all missing in the hour of action! One crack of Mr. 
Gladstone's whip put a hundred Liberal members to 
flight — members whom these noble women had spent 

304 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

years in educating. I never visited the House of 
Commons that I did not see Miss Becker and Miss 
Biggs trying to elucidate the fundamental principles 
of just government to some of the legislators. Verily 
their divine faith and patience merited more worthy 
action on the part of their alleged representatives! 

Miss Henrietta Muller gave a farewell reception to 
Miss Anthony and me on the eve of our departure for 
America, when we had the opportunity of meeting 
once more most of the pleasant acquaintances we had 
made in London. Although it was announced for the 
afternoon, we did, in fact, receive all day, as many 
could not come at the hour appointed. Dr. Elizabeth 
Blackwell took breakfast with us; Mrs. Fawcett, 
Mrs. Saville, and Miss Lord were with us at luncheon; 
Harriet Hosmer and Olive Logan soon after; Mrs. 
Peter Taylor later, and from three to six o'clock the 
parlors were crowded. 

As our good friends Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas 
had determined to see us safely on board the Servia, 
they escorted us to Liverpool, where we met Mrs. Mar- 
garet Parker and Mrs. Scatcherd. Another reception 
was given us at the residence of Dr. Ewing Whittle. 
Several short speeches were made, and all present 
cheered the parting guests with words of hope and 
encouragement for the good cause. Here the wisdom 
of forming an international association was first con- 
sidered. 1 The proposition met with such favor from 

1 See History oj Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV, p. 124, crediting Mrs. Stanton 
with originating the idea which eventuated in 1888 in the foundation of the 
International Council of Women. As in this note is made the first reference 
to a fourth volume of the History of Woman Suffrage, it should be explained 
that Vol. Ill reports the national conventions down only to 1883. Vol. IV 

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain 305 

those present that a committee was appointed to cor- 
respond with the friends in different nations. Miss 
Anthony and I were placed on the committee, and 
while this project has not yet been fully carried out, 
the idea of the intellectual co-operation of women to 
secure equal rights and opportunities for their sex was 
the basis of the International Council of Women, 
which was held under the auspices of the National 
Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, D. C, 
in March, 1888. 

On the Atlantic for ten days we had many oppor- 
tunities to review all we had seen and heard. Sitting 
on deck, hour after hour, how often I queried with 
myself as to the significance of the boon for which we 
were so earnestly struggling. In asking for a voice 
in the government under which we live, have we been 
pursuing a shadow for fifty years? In seeking political 
power, are we abdicating that social throne where they 
tell us our influence is unbounded? No, no! the right 
of suffrage is no shadow, but a substantial entity that 
the citizen can seize and hold for his own protection 
and his country's welfare. A direct power over one's 
own person and property, an individual opinion to be 
counted on all questions of public interest, are better 
than indirect influence, be that ever so far reaching. 

Though influence, like the pure white light, is all- 
pervading, yet it is ofttimes obscured with passing 
clouds and nights of darkness. Like the sun's rays, 

was published in 1902. It was edited by Miss Anthony and Ida Husted 
Harper. Owing to its misleading title page, the idea is now widespread 
that the same two editors were responsible for all four volumes, whereas, 
of course, the first three were edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. 
Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage. 

306 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

it may be healthy, genial, inspiring, though sometimes 
too direct for comfort, too oblique for warmth, too 
scattered for any purpose. But as the prism divides 
the rays, revealing the brilliant colors of the light, so 
does individual sovereignty reveal the beauty of 
representative government, and as the burning-glass 
shows the power of concentrating the rays, so does 
the combined power of the multitude reveal the beauty 
of united effort to carry a grand measure. 

Chapter XXII: Europe Revisited 

ON October 27, 1886, I again sailed for Eng- 
land. We had a warm, gentle rain and a 
smooth sea most of the way, and, as we 
had a stateroom on deck, we could have the portholes 
open, and thus get all the air we desired. With novels 
and letters, chess and whist the time passed pleasantly, 
and, on the ninth day, we landed in Liverpool. 1 

The following spring I went to Paris, my daughter 
escorting me to Dover, and my son meeting me at 
Calais. It was a bright, pleasant day, and I sat on 
deck and enjoyed the trip, though many of my fellow 
passengers were pale and limp. Whirling to Paris in 
an easy car, through the beautiful wheatfields and 
vineyards, I thought of the old lumbering diligence, 
in which we went up to Paris at a snail's pace forty 
years before. I remained in Paris until October, and 
never enjoyed six months more thoroughly. One of 
my chief pleasures was making the acquaintance of 
my fourth son, Theodore. I had seen but little of 
him since he was sixteen years old, as he then spent 
five years at Cornell University, and as many more in 
Germany and France. He had already published 
two works, The Life of Thiers, and The Woman Question 
in Europe. To have a son interested in the question 

1 For occurrences of the winter see the Diary, November 30, 1886 — April 
X2, 1887. 

308 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to which I have devoted my life, is a source of intense 
satisfaction. To say that I have realized in him all 
I could desire, is the highest praise a fond mother 
can give. 

My first experience in an apartment, living on an 
even plane, no running up and down stairs, was as 
pleasant as it was surprising. I had no idea of the 
comfort and convenience of this method of keeping 
house. Our apartment in Paris consisted of drawing 
room, dining room, library, a good-sized hall, five bed- 
rooms, bathroom, and kitchen, and a balcony fifty- 
two feet long and four feet wide. The first few days 
it made me dizzy to look down from this balcony to 
the street below. I was afraid the whole structure 
would give way, it appeared so light and airy, hanging 
midway between earth and heaven. But my confi- 
dence in its steadfastness and integrity grew day by 
day, and it became my favorite resort, commanding, 
as it did, a magnificent view of the whole city and 
distant surroundings. 

There were so many Americans in town, and French 
reformers to be seen, that I gave Wednesday afternoon 
receptions during my whole visit. To one of our "at 
homes" came Mile. Maria Deraismes, the only female 
Free Mason in France, and the best woman orator in 
the country; her sister, Mme. Feresse-Deraismes, 
who takes part in all woman movements; M. Leon 
Richer, then actively advocating the civil and political 
rights of women through the columns of his vigorous 
journal; Mme. Griess Traut, who makes a specialty 
of Peace work; Mme. Isabelle Bogelot, who afterward 
attended the Washington Council of 1888, and who is 

Europe Revisited 309 

a leader in charity work; the late Mme. Emilie de 
Morsier, who afterward was the soul of the Inter- 
national Congress of 1889, at Paris; Mme. Pauline 
Kergomard, the first woman to be made a member of 
the Superior Council of Public Instruction in France. 

Among the American guests at our various Wednes- 
day receptions were Mr. and Mrs. John Bigelow, Mr. 
and Mrs. James G. Blaine, Mr. Daniel C. French, the 
sculptor; Mrs. J. C. Ayer, Mr. L. White Busbey, one 
of the editors of the Chicago Inter-Ocean; Rev. Dr. 
Henry M. Field, Charles Gifford Dyer, the painter, and 
father of the gifted young violinist, Miss Hella Dyer; 
the late Rev. Mr. Moffett, then United States Consul 
at Athens; Mrs. Governor Bagley and daughter, of 
Michigan; Grace Greenwood and her talented daughter, 
who charmed everyone with her melodious voice, and 
Miss Bryant, daughter of the poet. One visitor who 
interested us most was the Norwegian novelist and 
republican, Bjornstjorne Bjornson. 

We had several pleasant interviews with Frederick 
Douglass and his wife, some exciting games of chess 
with Theodore Tilton, in the pleasant apartments of 
the late W. J. A. Fuller, Esq., and his daughter, Miss 
Kate Fuller. Seeing so many familiar faces, I could 
easily imagine myself in New York rather than in 
Paris. I attended several receptions and dined with 
Mrs. Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, greatly enjoying her 
clever descriptions of a winter on the Nile in her own 
dahabeeyeh. I heard Pere Hyacinthe preach, and 
met his American wife on several occasions. I took 
long drives every day through the parks and pleasant 
parts of the city. With garden concerts, operas, 

310 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

theaters, and the Hippodrome I found abundant 
amusement. I never grew weary of the latter per- 
formance — the wonderful intelligence displayed there 
by animals being a fresh surprise to me every time I 

I attended a reception at the Elysee Palace, escorted 
by M. Joseph Fabre, then a deputy and now a senator. 
M. Fabre is the author of a play and several volumes 
devoted to Joan of Arc. He presented me to the Pres- 
ident and to Mms. Jules Grevy. I was also introduced 
to M. Jules Ferry, then Prime Minister, who said, 
among other things: "I am sorry to confess it, but it 
is only too true, our French women are far behind their 
sisters in America. ,, The beautiful, large garden was 
thrown open that evening — it was in July — and the 
fine band of the Republican Guard gave a delightful 
concert under the big trees. I also met M. Grevy's 
son-in-law, M. Daniel Wilson. He was then a deputy 
and one of the most powerful politicians in France. 
A few months later he caused his father's political 
downfall. I have a vivid recollection of him because 
he could speak English, his father having been a 
British subject. 

I visited the picture galleries once more, after a 
lapse of nearly fifty years, and was struck by the fact 
that, in that interval, several women had been admitted 
to places of honor. This was especially noticeable in 
the Luxembourg Sculpture Gallery, where two women, 
Mme. Bertaux and the late Claude Vignon, were both 
represented by good work — the first and only women 
sculptors admitted to that gallery. 

At a breakfast party which we gave, I made the 

Europe Revisited 311 

acquaintance of General Cluseret, who figured in our 
Civil War, afterward became War Minister of the 
Paris Commune, and is now member of the Chamber 
of Deputies. He learned English when in America, 
and had not entirely forgotten it. He told anecdotes 
of Lincoln, Stanton, Sumner, Fremont, Garibaldi, the 
Count of Paris, and many other famous men whom 
he once knew, and proved to be a very interesting 

Old bookstands were always attractive centers of 
interest to Theodore, and, among other treasure-troves, 
he brought home one day a boy of fourteen years, 
whose office it had been to watch the books. He was 
a bright, cheery little fellow of mixed French and 
German descent, who could speak English, French, 
and German. He was just what we had desired, to 
run errands and tend the door. As he was delighted 
with the idea of coming to us, we went to see his 
parents. We were pleased with their appearance and 
surroundings. We learned that they were members 
of the Lutheran Church, that the boy was one of the 
shining lights in Sunday school, and the only point in 
our agreement on which they were strenuous was that 
he should go regularly to Sunday school and have time 
to learn his lessons. 

So "Immanuel" commenced a new life with us, and 
as we had unbounded confidence in the boy's integrity, 
we excused his shortcomings, and for a time believed 
all he said. But before long we found out that the 
moment we left the house he was in the drawing room, 
investigating every drawer, playing on the piano, or 
sleeping on the sofa. Then we adopted the plan of 

312 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

locking up every part of the apartment but the kitchen. 
He amused himself burning holes through the pantry 
shelves, when the cook was out, and boring holes, with 
a gimlet, through a handsomely carved bread board. 
One day, in making up a spare bed for a friend, under 
the mattress were found innumerable letters he was 
supposed to have mailed at different times. When 
we reprimanded him for his pranks he would look at us 
steadily, but sorrowfully, and, immediately afterward, 
we would hear him dancing down the corridor singing, 
M Safe in the Arms of Jesus." If he had given heed to 
one-half we said to him, he would have been safer in 
our hands than in those of his imaginary protector. 
He turned out a thief, an unmitigated liar, a dancing 
dervish, and, through all our experiences of six weeks 
with him, his chief reading was his Bible and Sunday 
school books. The experience, however, was not lost 
on Theodore — he never suggested a boy again, and a 
faithful daughter of Eve reigned in his stead. 

During the summer I was in the hands of two artists, 
Miss Anna Klumpke, who painted my portrait, 1 and 
Paul Bartlett, who molded my head in clay. 2 To 
shorten the operation, sometimes I sat for both at the 
same time. Each had good places in the Salon, and 
honorable mention that year. It is sad to see many 
American girls and boys, who have no genius for 
painting or sculpture, spending their days in garrets, 
in solitude and poverty, with the vain hope of earning 
distinction. Women of all classes are awaking to 

1 Is the frontispiece of Vol. II of this work. Miss Klumpke was the 
protegee and heir of Rosa Bonheur, 
•Faces page 236 

Europe Revisited 313 

the necessity of self-support, but few are willing to do 
the ordinary useful work for which they are fitted. 
In the Salon that year six thousand pictures were 
offered, and only two thousand accepted, and many 
of these were "skyed." 

It was lovely on our balcony at night to watch the 
little boats, with their lights, sailing up and down the 
Seine, especially the day of the great annual fete — 
the 14th of July — when the whole city was magnifi- 
cently illuminated. We drove about the city on 
several occasions at midnight to see the life — men, 
women, and children enjoying the cool breezes, and 
the restaurants all crowded with people. 

Sunday in Paris is charming — it is the day for the 
masses of the people. The galleries of art, the libra- 
ries, concert halls, and gardens are open to them. 
All are dressed in their best, out driving, walking, 
and having picnics in the various parks and gardens; 
husbands, wives, and children laughing and talking 
happily together. The seats in the streets and parks 
are all filled with the laboring masses. The benches 
all over Paris — along the curbstones in every street 
and highway — show the care given to the comfort of 
the people. You will see mothers and nurses with 
their babies and children resting on these benches, 
laboring men eating their lunches and sleeping there 
at noon, the organ grinders and monkeys, too, taking 
their comfort. In France you see men and women 
everywhere together; in England the men generally 
stagger about alone, caring more for their pipes and 
beer than their mothers, wives, and sisters. Social 
life, among the poor especially, is far more natural 

314 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

and harmonious in France than in England, because 
women mix more freely in business and amusements. 

Coming directly from Paris to London, one is forci- 
bly struck with the gloom of the latter city, especially 
at night. Paris with its electric lights is brilliant 
everywhere, while London, with its meager gas jets 
here and there struggling with the darkness, is as 
gloomy and desolate as Dore's pictures of Dante's 
Inferno. On Sunday, when the shops are closed, the 
silence and solitude of the streets, the general smoky 
blackness of the buildings and the atmosphere give 
one a melancholy impression of the great center of 
civilization. Now that it has been discovered that 
smoke can be utilized and the atmosphere cleared, it 
is astonishing that the authorities do not avail them- 
selves of the discovery, and thus bring light and joy 
and sunshine into that city, and then clean the soot 
of centuries from their blackened buildings. 

On my return to England I spent a day with Miss 
Emily Lord, at her kindergarten establishment. She 
had just returned from Sweden, where she spent six 
weeks in the carpenter's shop, studying the Swedish 
Slojd system, in which children of twelve years old 
learn to use tools, making spoons, forks, and other 
implements. Miss Lord showed us some of her work, 
quite creditable for her first attempts. She said the 
children in the higher grades of her school enjoyed the 
carpenter work immensely and became very deft in 
the use of tools. 

At a reception given to me by Drs. Julia and Kate 
Mitchell, sisters practicing medicine in London, I met 
Stepniak, the Russian Nihilist, a man of grand pres- 

Europe Revisited 315 

ence and fine conversational powers. He was about 
to go to America, apprehensive lest our government 
should make an extradition treaty with Russia to 
return political offenders, as he knew that proposal 
had been made. A few weeks later he did visit the 
United States, and had a hearing before a committee 
of the Senate. He pointed out the character of the 
Nihilist movement, declaring Nihilists to be the real 
reformers, the true lovers of liberty, sacrificing them- 
selves for the best interests of the people, and yet, as 
political prisoners, they are treated worse than the 
lowest class of criminals in the prisons and mines of 

I had a very unpleasant interview during this visit 
to London with Miss Lydia Becker, Miss Caroline 
Biggs, and Miss Blackburn, at the Metropole, about 
choosing delegates to the International Council of 
Women soon to be held in Washington. As there 
had been some irreconcilable dissensions in the suffrage 
association, and they could not agree as to whom their 
delegates should be, they decided to send none at all. 
I wrote at once to Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren, 
pointing out what a shame it would be if England, 
above all countries, should not be represented in the 
first International Council ever called by a suffrage 
association. She replied promptly that must not be, 
and immediately moved in the matter, and through 
her efforts three delegates were soon authorized to go, 
representing different constituencies — Mrs. Alice Cliff 
Scatcherd, Mrs. Ormiston Chant, and Mrs. Ashton 

Toward the last of February, 1888, we went again 

316 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

to London to make farewell visits to dear friends. 
We spent a few days with Mona Caird, who expounded 
her views on marriage, which she afterward gave to 
the Westminster Review, and stirred the press to white 
heat both in England and America. "Is Marriage a 
Failure?" furnished the heading for our quack adver- 
tisements for a long time after. Mrs. Caird was a very 
graceful, pleasing woman, and so gentle in manner 
and appearance that no one would deem her capable 
of hurling such thunderbolts at the long-suffering 
Saxon people. 

On March 4, 1888, I sailed from Southampton. 
On the train I met my companions for the voyage, 
Mrs. Ashton Dilke and Baroness Gripenberg, 1 from 
Finland, a very charming woman, to whom I felt a 
strong attraction. The other delegates sailed from 
Liverpool. We had a rough voyage, and most of the 
passengers were very sick. Mrs. Dilke and I were 
well, however, and on deck every day, always ready 
to play whist and chess with a few gentlemen who 
were equally fortunate. I was much impressed with 
Mrs. Dilke's kindness and generosity in serving others. 
There was a lady on board with two children, whose 
nurse at the last minute refused to go with her. The 
mother was sick most of the way, and Mrs. Dilke did 
all in her power to relieve her, by amusing the little 
boy, telling him stories, walking with him on deck, 
and watching him throughout the day, no easy task 
to perform for an entire stranger. The poor little 
mother with a baby in her arms must have appreciated 
such kindly attention. 

1 She became later member of the Finnish Diet. See Diary, June 2, 1902. 

Europe Revisited 317 

When the pilot met us off Sandy Hook, he brought 
news of the terrible blizzard New York had just expe- 
rienced, by which all communication with the world at 
large was practically suspended. The captain brought 
him down into the saloon to tell us all about the storm. 
The news was so startling that at first we thought the 
pilot was joking, but when he produced the metro- 
politan journals to verify his statements, we listened 
to the reading and what he had to say with profound 
astonishment. The second week in March, 1888, 
will be memorable in the history of storms in the 
vicinity of New York. 

Chapter XXIII: The International Council 

of Women 

PURSUANT to the idea of the feasibility and 
need of an International Council of Women, 
mentioned in a preceding chapter, it was decided 
to celebrate the fourth decade of the woman suffrage 
movement in the United States by calling together 
such a council. At its nineteenth annual convention, 
held in January, 1887, the National Woman Suffrage 
Association resolved to assume the entire responsi- 
bility of holding a council, and to extend an invitation 
for that purpose to all associations of women in the 
trades, professions, and reforms, as well as those advo- 
cating political rights. This assemblage of women, 
coming from all the countries of the civilized globe, 
proved that the call for such a council was opportune, 
while the order and dignity of the proceedings proved 
the women worthy the occasion. No one doubts now 
the wisdom of that initiative step, nor the added power 
women have gained over popular thought through the 
International Council. 

As the proceedings of the convention were fully and 
graphically reported in the Woman s Tribune at that 
time, and as its reports were afterward published in 
book form, I will merely say that our most sanguine 
expectations as to its success were more than realized. 
The large theater was crowded for an entire week, and 

The International Council of Women 319 

hosts of able women spoke, as if specially inspired, on 
all the vital questions of the hour. Although the 
council was called and conducted by the suffrage 
association, yet various other societies were repre- 
sented. As soon as I reached Washington, Miss 
Anthony ordered me to remain conscientiously in my 
own apartment and to prepare a speech for delivery 
before the committees of the Senate and House, and 
another, as president, 1 for the opening of the council. 
However, as Mrs. Spofford placed her carriage at our 
service, I was permitted to drive an hour or two every 
day about that magnificent city. 

One of the best speeches at the council was made by 
Helen H. Gardener. It was a criticism of Dr. Ham- 
mond's position in regard to the inferior size and 
quality of woman's brain. As the doctor had never 
had the opportunity of examining the brains of the 
most distinguished women, and, probably, those only 
of paupers and criminals, she felt he had no data on 
which to base his conclusions. Moreover, she had the 
written opinion of several leading physicians, that it 
was quite impossible to distinguish the male from the 
female brain. 

The hearing at the Capitol, after the meeting of 
the council, was very interesting, as all the foreign 
delegates were invited to speak each in the language 
of her own country. To address their alleged repre- 
sentatives in the halls of legislation was a privilege 
they had never enjoyed at home. It is very remark- 
able that English women have never made the demand 
for a hearing in the House of Commons, nor even for 

1 Given in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. iv, p. 133. 

320 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

a decent place to sit, where they can hear the debates 
and see the fine proportions of the representatives. 

The winter of 1888-89 I was to spend with my 
daughter in Omaha. I reached there in time to 
witness the celebration of the completion of the first 
bridge between that city and Council Bluffs. There 
was a great procession in which all the industries of 
both towns were represented, and which occupied six 
hours in passing. We had a desirable position for 
reviewing the pageant, and very pleasant company to 
interpret the mottoes, symbols, and banners. The 
bridge practically brings the towns together, as elec- 
tric street cars now run from one to the other in ten 
minutes. Here, for the first time, I saw the cable 
cars running up hill and down without any visible 
means of locomotion. 

As the company ran an open car all winter, I took 
my daily ride of nine miles in it for fifteen cents. My 
son Daniel, who escorted me, always sat inside the 
car, while I remained on an outside seat. He was 
greatly amused with the remarks he heard about that 
" queer old lady that always rode outside in all kinds 
of wintry weather." How little we understand the 
comparative position of those whom we often criticize. 
There I sat enjoying the bracing air, the pure fresh 
breezes, indifferent to the fate of an old cloak and 
hood that had crossed the Atlantic and been saturated 
with salt water many times, pitying the women inside 
breathing air laden with microbes, sacrificing them- 
selves to their stylish bonnets, cloaks, and dresses, 
suffering with the heat of the red-hot stove; and yet 
they, in turn, pitying me. 

The International Council of Women 321 

The editor of the Woman s Tribune, Mrs. Clara B. 
Colby, called and lunched with us one day. She 
announced the coming state convention, at which I 
was expected "to make the best speech of my life." 
She had all the arrangements to make, and invited me 
to drive round with her, in order that we might talk 
by the way. She engaged the Opera House, made 
arrangements at the Paxton House for a reception, 
called on all her faithful coadjutors to arouse enthusi- 
asm in the work, and climbed up to the sanctums of 
the editors — Democratic and Republican alike — ask- 
ing them to advertise the convention and to say a 
kind word for our oppressed class in our struggle for 
emancipation. They all promised favorable notices 
and comments, and they kept their promises. Mrs. 
Colby, being president of the Nebraska Suffrage 
Association, opened the meeting with an able speech, 
and presided throughout with tact and dignity. 

I came very near meeting with an unfortunate 
experience at this convention. The lady who escorted 
me in her carriage to the Opera House carried the 
manuscript of my speech, which I did not miss until 
it was nearly time to speak, when I told a lady who 
sat by my side that our friend had forgotten to give 
me my manuscript. She went at once to her and 
asked for it. She remembered taking it, but what 
she bad done with it she did not know. It was sug- 
gested that she might have dropped it in alighting 
from the carriage. And lo! they found it lying in the 
gutter. As the ground was frozen hard it was not 
even soiled. When I learned of my narrow escape, I 
trembled, for I had not prepared any train of thought 

322 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

for extemporaneous use. I should have been obliged 
to talk when my turn came, and if inspired by the 
audience or the good angels, might have done well, or 
might have failed utterly. The moral of this episode 
is, hold on to your manuscript. 

In April, 1889, in company with my eldest son I 
returned East and spent the summer at Hempstead, 
Long Island. We found Hempstead a quiet, old 
Dutch town, undisturbed by progressive ideas. My 
son Henry had given me a phaeton, low and easy as a 
cradle, and I enjoyed many drives about Long Island. 
We went to Bryant's home on the north side, several 
times, and in imagination I saw the old poet in the 
various shady nooks, inditing his lines of love and 
praise of nature in all her varying moods. Walking 
among the many-colored, rustling leaves in the dark 
days of November, I could easily enter into his thought 
as he penned the lines: 

The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, 

Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear. 

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; 
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread. 

As late in the fall I had a bad cold and a general 
feeling of depression, I decided to go to the Dansville 
Sanatorium and see what Drs. James and Kate Jack- 
son could do for me. I was there six weeks and tried 
all the rubbings, pinchings, steamings; the Swedish 
movements of the arms, hands, legs, feet; dieting, 
massage, electricity, and soon felt like a new being. 
It is a charming place to be in — the home is pleasantly 
situated and the scenery very fine. The physicians 

The International Council of Women 323 

are all genial, and a cheerful atmosphere pervades the 
whole establishment. 

As Christmas was at hand, the women were all half 
crazy about presents, and while good Drs. James and 
Kate were doing all in their power to cure the nervous 
affections, their patients would thwart the treatment 
by sitting in the parlor with the thermometer at 
seventy-two degrees, embroidering all kinds of fancy 
patterns — some on muslin, some on satin, and some 
with colored worsteds on canvas — inhaling the poison- 
ous dyes, straining the optic nerves, counting threads 
and stitches, hour after hour, until utterly exhausted. 
I spoke to one poor victim of the fallacy of Christmas 
presents, and of her injuring her health in such useless 
employment. "What can I do?" she replied, "I must 
make presents and cannot afford to buy them." "Do 
you think," said I, "any of your friends would enjoy 
a present you made at the risk of your health ? I do 
not think there is any 'must' in the matter. I never 
feel that I must give presents, and never want any, 
especially from those who make some sacrifice to give 
them." This whole custom of presents at Christmas, 
New Year's, and at weddings has come to be a bore, 
a piece of hypocrisy leading to no end of unhappiness. 
I do not know a more pitiful sight than to see a woman 
tatting, knitting, embroidering — working cats on the 
toe of some slipper, or tulips on an apron. The 
amount of nervous force that is expended in this way 
is enough to make angels weep. The necessary stitches 
to be taken in every household are quite enough with- 
out adding fancy work. 

From Dansville I went on to Washington to celebrate 

324 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

the seventieth birthday of Miss Anthony. First 
came a supper at the Riggs House. I am ashamed 
to say that we kept up the festivities till after two 
o'clock. Those of us who were there will not soon 
forget February 15, 1890. 

After speaking before committees of the Senate and 
House, and giving the opening address at the annual 
convention, my daughter and I hurried off to New 
York, and went on board the Alter* bound for South- 
ampton. At the ship we found Captain Milinowski 
and his wife and two of my sons waiting our arrival. 
As we had eighteen pieces of baggage, it took some 
time to review them. My phaeton, which we decided 
to take, filled six boxes. An easy carriage for two 
persons is not common in England; the dogcarts 
prevail, the most uncomfortable vehicles one can 
possibly use. Why some of our Americans drive in 
those uncomfortable carts is a question. I think it is 
because they are "so English. " The only reason the 
English use them is because they are cheap, the tax on 
two wheels being one-half what it is on four, and in 
England all carriages are taxed. Before we Americans 
adopt fashions because they are English, we had better 
find out the raison d'etre for their existence. 

1 Diary, February 25, 1890. 

Chapter XXIV: My Last Visit to England 

A S soon as we got our carriage put together I 
/-\ drove out every day. We had lovely weather 
■A- -J^ during the spring, but the summer was wet 
and cold. With reading, writing, going up to London, 
and receiving visitors, the months flew by without our 
accomplishing half the work we proposed. 

There were several problems in social ethics that 
deeply stirred the English people in the year of our 
Lord 1890. One was Charles Stewart Parnell's pla- 
tonic friendship with Mrs. O'Shea, 1 and the other was 
the Lord Chancellor's decision in the case of Mrs. 
Jackson. The pulpit, the press, and the people vied 
with each other in trying to dethrone Mr. Parnell as 
the great Irish leader, but the united forces did not 
succeed in destroying his self-respect, nor in hounding 
him out of the British Parliament, though, after a 
brave and protracted resistance on his part, they did 
succeed in hounding him into the grave. 

It was pitiful to see the Irish themselves, misled by 
a hypocritical popular sentiment in England, turn 
against their great leader, the only one they had had 
for half a century who was able to keep the Irish ques- 
tion uppermost in the House of Commons year after 
year. The course of events since his death has proved 
the truth of what he told them, to wit: that there was 

1 Diary, November 4, 1890. 

326 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

no sincerity in the interest English politicians mani- 
fested in the question of Home Rule, and that the 
debates on that point would cease as soon as it was 
no longer forced on their consideration. And now 
when they have succeeded in killing their leader, they 
begin to realize their loss. The question evolved 
through the ferment of social opinions was concisely 
stated, this: "Can a man be a great leader, a states- 
man, a general, an admiral, a learned chief justice, a 
trusted lawyer, or skillful physician, if he has ever 
broken the Seventh Commandment ?" 

I expressed my opinion in the Westminster Review , 
at the time, in the affirmative. 1 Mrs. Jacob Bright, 
Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick of Boston, Kate Field, in 
her Washington, agreed with me. Many other women 
spoke out promptly in the negative, and with a bit- 
terness against those who took the opposite view that 
was lamentable. 

The Jackson case was a profitable study, as it brought 
out other questions of social ethics, as well as points of 
law which were ably settled by the Lord Chancellor. 2 
It seems that immediately after Mr. and Mrs. Jackson 
were married, the groom was compelled to go to Aus- 
tralia. After two years he returned and claimed his 
bride, but in the interval she felt a growing aversion 
and determined not to live with him. As she would 
not even see him, with the assistance of friends he kid- 
naped her one day as she was coming out of church, 
and carried her to his home, where he kept her under 
surveillance until her friends, with a writ of habeas 
corpus, compelled him to bring her into court. The 

1 Diary, December 21, 1890. 2 Lord Halsbury. 

My Last Visit to England 327 

popular idea," based on the common law of England," 
was that the husband had this absolute right. The 
lower court, in harmony with this idea, maintained 
the husband's right, and remanded her to his keeping, 
but her friends appealed to the higher court, and the 
Lord Chancellor reversed the decision. 

With regard to the right so frequently claimed, 
giving husbands the power to seize, imprison, and 
chastise their wives, he said: "I am of the opinion 
that no such right exists in law. I am of the opinion 
that no such right ever did exist in law. I say that 
no English subject has the right to imprison another 
English subject, whether his wife or not." Through 
this decision the wife walked out of the court a free 
woman. The passage of the Married Women's Prop- 
erty Bill in England in 1882 was the first blow at the 
old idea of coverture, giving to wives their rights of 
property, the full benefit of which they are yet to 
realize when clearer-minded men administer the laws. 
The decision of the Lord Chancellor, rendered March 
18, 1891, declaratory of the personal rights of married 
women, is a still more important blow by just so much 
as the rights of person are more sacred than the rights 
of property. 

One hundred years ago Lord Chief Justice Mans- 
field gave his famous decision in the Somerset case, 
"That no slave could breathe on British soil," and the 
slave walked out of court a free man. The decision 
of the Lord Chancellor, in the Jackson case, is far 
more important, more momentous in its consequences, 
as it affects not only one race but one-half of the entire 
human family. From every point of view, this is the 

328 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

greatest legal decision of the century. Like the great 
Chief Justice of the last century, the Lord Chancellor, 
with a clearer vision than those about him, rises into 
a purer atmosphere of thought, and vindicates the 
eternal principles of justice and the dignity of British 
law, by declaring all statutes that make wives the 
bond slaves of their husbands, obsolete, 

How long will it be in our Republic before some 
man will arise, great enough to so interpret our National 
Constitution as to declare that women, as citizens of 
the United States, cannot be governed by laws in the 
making of which they have no part? It is not Con- 
stitutional amendments nor statute laws we need, 
but judges on the bench of our Supreme Court, who, 
in deciding great questions of human rights, shall be 
governed by the broad principles of justice rather 
than precedent. One interesting feature in the trial 
of the Jackson case, was that both Lady Coleridge 
and the wife of the Lord Chancellor were seated on the 
bench, and evidently much pleased with the decision. 

It is difficult to account for the fact that, while 
women of the highest classes in England take the 
deepest interest in politics and court decisions, Amer- 
ican women of wealth and position are wholly indif- 
ferent to all public matters. While English women 
take an active part in elections, holding meetings and 
canvassing their districts, here, even the wives of 
judges, governors, and senators speak with bated 
breath of political movements, and seem to feel that 
a knowledge of laws and constitutions would hope- 
lessly unsex them. 

Toward the last of April, with my little grand* 

My Last Visit to England 329 

daughter and her nurse, I went down to Bournemouth, 
one of the most charming watering places in England. 
We had rooms in the Cliff House with windows open- 
ing on the balcony, where we had a wide view of the 
bay and could hear the waves dashing on the shore. 
While Nora, with her spade and pail, played all day 
in the sands, digging trenches and filling them with 
water, I sat oh the balcony reading Diana of the Cross- 
ways and Bjornson's last novel, In God's Way, both 
deeply interesting. As all the characters in the latter 
come to a sad end, I could not see the significance of 
the title. If they walked in God's way their career 
should have been successful. 

I took my first airing along the beach in an invalid 
chair. These bath-chairs are a great feature in all the 
watering places of England. They are drawn by a 
man or a donkey. The first day I took a man, an old 
sailor, who talked incessantly of his adventures, stop- 
ing to rest every five minutes, dissipating all my 
pleasant reveries, and making an unendurable bore 
of himself. The next day I told the proprietor to get 
me a man who would not talk all the time. The man 
he supplied jogged along in absolute silence; he would 
not even answer my questions. Supposing he had his 
orders to keep profound silence, after one or two 
attempts I said nothing. When I returned home the 
proprietor asked me how I liked this man. "Ah!" 
I said, "he was indeed silent and would not even 
answer a question nor go anywhere I told him; still 
I liked him better than the talkative man." He 
laughed heartily and said: "This man is deaf and 
dumb. I thought I would make sure that you should 

330 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

not be bored." I joined in the laugh and said: "Well, 
to-morrow get me a man who can hear but cannot 
speak, if you can find one constructed on that plan." 
Bournemouth is noteworthy now as the burial place 
of Mary Wollstonecraft and the Shelleys. I went to 
see the monument that had been recently reared to 
their memory. On one side is the following inscrip- 
tion: "William Godwin, author of Political Justice, 
born March 3rd, 1756, died April 7th, 1836. Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin, author of the Vindication of the 
Rights of Women, born April 27th, 1759, died Septem- 
ber 10th, 1797." These remains were brought here 
in 1 85 1 from the churchyard of St. Pancras, London. 
On the other side are the following inscriptions: "Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin, daughter of William Godwin 
and widow of the late Percy Bysshe Shelley, born 
August 30th, 1797, died February 1st, 1 851. Percy 
Florence Shelley, son of Percy Shelley and Mary Woll- 
stonecraft, third baronet, born November 12th, 1 819, 
died December 5th, 1889." In Christ's Church, six 
miles from Bournemouth, is a bas-relief in memory of 
the great poet. He is represented dripping with sea- 
weed, in the arms of the Angel of Death. 

As I sat on my balcony hour after hour, reading and 
thinking of the Shelleys, watching the changing hues 
of the clouds and the beautiful bay, and listening to 
the sad monotone of the waves, these sweet lines of 
Whittier's came to my mind: 

Its waves are kneeling on the strand, 

As kneels the human knee, — 
Their white locks bowing to the sand, 

The priesthood of the sea! 

My Last Visit to England 331 

The blue sky is the temple's arch, 

Its transept earth and air, 
The music of its starry march 

The chorus of a prayer. 

The last of June my son Theodore's wife and daugh- 
ter came over from France to spend a month with us. 
Lisette and Nora, about the same size, played and 
quarreled most amusingly together. They spent their 
mornings in the kindergarten school, and the after- 
noons with their pony, but rainy days I was impressed 
into their service to tell stories. 1 I had the satisfac- 
tion to hear them say that my stories were better than 
any in the books. As I composed the wonderful yarns 
as I went along, I used to get very tired, and some- 
times, when I heard the little feet coming I would 
hide, but they would hunt until they found me. When 
my youngest son was ten years old and could read for 
himself, I graduated in story telling, having practiced 
in that line twenty-one years. I vowed that I would 
expend no more breath in that direction, but the eager 
face of a child asking for stories is too much for m£, 
and my vow has been often broken. When Victor 
Hugo grew tired telling his grandchildren stories he 
would wind up with the story of an old gentleman 
who, after a few interesting experiences, took up his 
evening paper and began to read aloud. The chil- 
dren would listen a few moments and then, one by one, 
slip out of the room. Longfellow's old gentleman, 
after many exciting scenes in his career, usually 
stretched himself on the lounge and feigned sleep. 
But grandmothers are not allowed to shelter them- 

1 Diary, July 12, 1891. 
I.— -22 

33 2 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

selves with such devices; they are required to spin on 
until the bedtime really arrives. 

In July I went to Yorkshire to visit Mr. and Mrs. 
Scatcherd at Morley Hall, and there spent several 
days. We had a prolonged discussion on personal 
rights. One side was against all governmental inter- 
ference, such as compulsory education and the pro- 
tection of children against cruel parents; the other 
side in favor of state interference that protected the 
individual in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and happi- 
ness. I took the latter position. Many parents are 
not fit to have the control of children, hence the state 
should see that they are sheltered, fed, clothed, and 
educated. It is far better for the state to make good 
citizens of its children in the beginning, than, in the 
end, to be compelled to care for them as criminals. 

When we returned to Basingstoke we had a visit 
from Mrs. Cobb, the wife of a member of Parliament, 
and sister-in-law of Karl Pearson, whose lectures on 
woman I had enjoyed so much. It was through read- 
ing his work, The Ethic of Free Thought, that the 
Matriarch ate made such a deep impression on my 
mind and moved me to write a tract on the subject. 
People who have neither read nor thought on this 
point, question the facts as stated by Bach of en, Mor- 
gan, and Wilkeson; but their truth, I think, cannot 
be questioned. They seem so natural in the chain of 
reasoning and the progress of human development. 1 
Mrs. Cobb did a very good thing a few days before 
visiting us. At a great meeting called to promote Mr. 
Cobb's election, John Morley spoke. He did not 
even say "Ladies and gentlemen" in starting, nor 

My Last Visit to England 333 

make the slightest reference to the existence of such 
beings as women. When he had finished, Mrs. Cobb 
arose mid great cheering and criticized his speech, 
making some quotations from his former utterances 
of a very liberal nature. The audience laughed and 
cheered, fully enjoying the rebuke. The next day in 
his speech Morley remembered his countrywomen, and 
on rising said, "Ladies and gentlemen." 

During August, 1891, I was busy getting ready for 
my voyage, as I was to sail on the Ems on August 23. 
Although I had crossed the ocean six times in the prior 
ten years I dreaded the passage more than words can 
describe. The last days were filled with sadness, in 
parting with those so dear to me in foreign countries 
— especially those curly-headed little girls, so bright, 
so pretty, so winning in all their ways. 

We had a rough voyage, but I was not seasick one 
moment. I was up and dressed early in the morning, 
and on deck whenever the weather permitted. I made 
many pleasant acquaintances with whom I played 
chess and whist; wrote letters to all my foreign friends, 
ready to mail on landing; read the Egotist, by George 
Meredith, and Ibsen's plays as translated by my friend 
Frances Lord. We reached Sandy Hook the evening 
of the 29th day of August, and lay there all night, and 
the next morning we sailed up our beautiful harbor, 
brilliant with the rays of the rising sun. 

Being fortunate in having children in both hemi- 
spheres, here, too, I found a son and daughter waiting 
to welcome me to my native land. Our chief business 
for many weeks was searching for an inviting apart- 
ment where my daughter, Margaret, my youngest son, 

334 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Bob, and I could set up our family altar and sing our 
new psalm of life together. Having always lived in 
a large house in the country, the quarters finally 
selected seemed rather contracted at first, but I soon 
realized the immense saving in labor and expense in 
having no more room than is absolutely necessary, and 
all on one floor. To be transported from the street to 
your apartment in an elevator in half a minute, to have 
all your food and fuel sent to your kitchen by an 
elevator in the rear, to have your rooms all warmed 
with no effort of your own, seemed like a realization 
of some fairy dream. With an extensive outlook of the 
heavens above, of the Park and the Boulevard beneath, 
I had a feeling of freedom, and, with a short flight of 
stairs to the roof (an easy escape in case of fire), of 
safety, too. 

No sooner was I fully established in my eyrie, than 
I was summoned to Rochester, by my friend Miss 
Anthony, to fill an appointment she had made for me 
with Miss Adelaide Johnson, the artist from Washing- 
ton, who was to idealize Miss Anthony and myself in 
marble for the World's Fair. I found my friend 
demurely seated in her mother's rocking-chair, hem- 
ming table linen and towels for her new home, anon 
bargaining with butchers, bakers, and grocers, making 
cakes and puddings, talking with enthusiam of pal- 
atable dishes and the beauties of various articles of 
furniture that different friends had presented to her. 
All there was to remind one of the "Napoleon of the 
Suffrage Movement" was a large escritoire covered 
with documents in the usual state of confusion — Miss 
Anthony never could keep her papers in order. In 

My Last Visit to England 335 

search of any particular document she roots out every 
drawer and pigeon hole, although her mother's little 
spinning wheel stands right beside her desk, a constant 
reminder of all the domestic virtues of the good house- 
wife, with whom "order" is of the utmost importance 
and "heaven's first law." 

A room in an adjoining house was assigned to Miss 
Johnson, and a strong pedestal and huge mass of clay. 
And there, for nearly a month, I watched the trans- 
formation of that clay into human proportions and 
expressions, until it gradually emerged with the familiar 
outlines ever so dear to one's self. Sitting there four 
or five hours every day I used to get very sleepy, so 
my artist arranged for a series of little naps. When 
she saw the crisis coming she would say: "I will work 
now for a time on the ear, the nose, or the hair, as you 
must be wide awake when I am trying to catch 
the expression." I rewarded her for her patience 
and indulgence by summoning up, when awake, the 
most intelligent and radiant expression that I could 

At one pause in these sittings Miss Anthony and I 
went to Geneva to visit Mrs. Miller and to meet, by 
appointment, Mrs. Eliza Osborne, the niece of Lucretia 
Mott, and eldest daughter of Martha C. Wright. We 
anticipated a merry meeting, but we were so tired 
that we no doubt appeared stupid. In a letter to Mrs. 
Miller afterward, Mrs. Osborne inquired why I was 
"so solemn." As I pride myself on being impervious 
to fatigue or disease, I could not own up to any dis- 
ability, so I turned the tables on her in the following 

336 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

New York, 26 West 6ist Street, 

November 12, 1891. 

Dear Eliza, — In a recent letter to Mrs. Miller, speaking of the 
time when we last met, you say, "Why was Mrs. Stanton so sol- 
emn?" to which I reply: Ever since an old German emperor issued 
an edict, ordering all the women under that flag to knit when 
walking on the highway, when selling apples in the market place, 
when sitting in the parks, because "to keep women out of mis- 
chief their hands must be busy," ever since I read that, I have felt 
"solemn" whenever I have seen any daughters of our grand Repub- 
lic knitting, tatting, embroidering, or occupied with any of the ten 
thousand digital absurdities that fill so large a place in the lives 
of Eve's daughters. 

Looking forward to the scintillations of wit, the philosophical 
researches, the historical traditions, the scientific discoveries, the 
astronomical explorations, the mysteries of theosophy, palmistry, 
mental science, the revelations of the unknown world where angels 
and devils do congregate, looking forward to discussions of all 
these grand themes, in meeting the eldest daughter of David and 
Martha Wright, the niece of Lucretia Mott, the sister-in-law of 
William Lloyd Garrison, a queenly-looking woman five feet eight 
in height, and well proportioned, with glorious black eyes, rivaling 
even De Stael's in power and pathos, one can readily imagine the 
disappointment I experienced when such a woman pulled a cotton 
wash-cloth from her pocket and forthwith began to knit with bowed 
head. Fixing her eyes and concentrating her thoughts on a rag 
one foot square; it was impossible for conversation to rise above 
the wash-rag level! It was enough to make the most aged optimist 
"solemn" to see such a wreck of glorious womanhood. 

And, still worse, she not only knit steadily, hour after hour, 
but she bestowed the sweetest words of encouragement on a young 
girl from the Pacific Coast, who was embroidering rosebuds on 
another rag, the very girl I had endeavored to rescue from the 
maelstrom of embroidery by showing her the unspeakable folly 
of giving her optic nerves to such base uses, when they were designed 
by the Creator to explore the planetary world, with chart and 
compass to guide mighty ships across the sea, to lead the sons of 
Adam with divinest love from earth to heaven. Think of the 
great beseeching optic nerves and muscles by which we express 
our admiration of all that is good and glorious in earth and heaven, 
being concentrated on a cotton rag! Who can wonder that I 

My Last Visit to England 337 

was "solemn" that day! I made my agonized protest on the 
spot, but it fell unheeded, and with satisfied sneer Eliza knit on, 
and the young Californian continued making the rosebuds. I 
gazed into space, and, when alone, wept for my degenerate country- 
woman. I not only was "solemn" that day, but I am profoundly 
"solemn" whenever I think of that queenly woman and that 
cotton rag. (One can buy a whole dozen of these useful appli- 
ances, with red borders and fringed, for twenty-five cents.) Oh, 
Eliza, I beseech you, knit no more! 

Affectionately yours, 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

To this Mrs. Osborne sent the following reply: 

Dear Mrs. Stanton: 

In your skit 
Against your sisterhood who knit, 

Or useful make their fingers, 
I wonder if — deny it not — 
The habit of Lucretia Mott 
Within your memory lingers! 

In retrospective vision bright, 

Can you recall dear Martha Wright 

Without her work or knitting? 
The needles flying in her hands, 
On washing rags or baby's bands, 

Or other work as fitting? 

I cannot think they thought the less, 
Or ceased the company to bless 

With conversation's riches, 
Because they thus improved their time, 
And never deemed it was a crime 

To fill the hours with stitches. 

They even used to preach and plan 
To spread the fashion, so that man 

Might have this satisfaction; 
Instead of idling as men do, 
With nervous meddling fingers too, 

Why not mate talk with action ? 

338 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

But as a daughter and a niece, 
I pride myself on every piece 

Of handiwork created; 
While reveling in social chat, 
Or listening to gossip flat, 

My gain is unabated. 

That German emperor you scorn, 
Seems to my mind a monarch born, 

Worthy to lead a column; 
I'll warrant he could talk and work, 
And, neither being used to shirk, 

Was rarely very solemn. 

I could say more upon this head, 
But must, before I go to bed, 

Your idle precepts mocking, 
Get out my needle and my yarn 
And, caring not a single darn, 

Just finish up this stocking. 

Chapter XXV: Sixtieth Anniversary of the 

Class of 1832 

I RETURNED from Geneva to New York City 
in time to celebrate my seventy-sixth birthday 
with my children. I had traveled about con- 
stantly for the last twenty years in France, England, 
and my own country, and had so many friends and 
correspondents, that now I decided to turn over a new 
leaf and rest in an easy-chair. But so complete a 
change in one's life could not be easily accomplished. 
In spite of my resolution to abide in seclusion, my 
daughter and I were induced to join the Botta Club, 
which was to meet once a month, alternately, at the 
residences of Mrs. Moncure D. Conway and Mrs. 
Abby Sage Richardson. Though composed of ladies 
and gentlemen, it proved dull and unprofitable. As 
the subject for discussion was not announced until 
each meeting, no one was prepared with any well- 
digested train of thought. It was also decided to 
avoid all questions about which there might be grave 
differences of opinion. This negative position reminded 
me of a book on etiquette which I read in my young 
days, in which gentlemen were warned, "In the pres- 
ence of ladies discuss neither politics, religion, nor 
social duties, but confine yourself to art, poetry, and 
abstract questions which women cannot understand. 

34° Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

The less they know of a subject the more respectfully 
they will listen. " 

Notwithstanding my determination to rest, I spoke 
to many clubs, wrote articles for papers and magazines, 
and two important leaflets, one on " Street Cleaning," 
another on "Opening the Chicago Exposition on Sun- 
day." As Sunday was the only day the masses could 
visit that magnificent scene, with its great lake, exten- 
sive park, artificial canals, and beautiful buildings, I 
strongly advocated its being open on that day. One 
hundred thousand men and women petitioned Congress 
to make no appropriation for this magnificent Exposi- 
tion, unless the managers pledged themselves to close 
the gates on Sunday, and hide this vision of beauty 
from the common people. Fortunately, this time a 
sense of justice outweighed religious bigotry. I sent 
my leaflets to every member of Congress and of the 
state legislatures, and to the managers of the Exposi- 
tion, and made it a topic of conversation at every 
opportunity. The park and parts of the Exposition 
were kept open on Sunday, but some of the machinery 
was stopped as a concession. 

In June, 1892, at the earnest solicitation of Mrs. 
Russell Sage, I attended the dedication of the Gurley 
Memorial Building, presented to the Emma Willard 
Seminary, at Troy, New York, and made the following 

Mrs. President, Members of the Alumna: 

It is just sixty years since the class of '32, to which T belonged, 
celebrated a commencement in this same room. This was the 
great event of the season to many families throughout this State. 
Parents came from all quarters; the elite of Troy and Albany 

Sixtieth Anniversary of Class of 1832 341 

assembled here. Principals from other schools, distinguished 
legislators, and clergymen all came to hear girls scan Latin verse, 
solve problems in Euclid, and read their own compositions in a 
promiscuous assemblage. A long line of teachers anxiously waited 
the calling of their classes, and over all our queenly Madame 
Willard presided with royal grace and dignity. Two hundred 
girls in gala attire, white dresses, bright sashes, and coral orna- 
ments, with their curly hair, rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes, 
flitted to and fro, some rejoicing that they had passed through 
their ordeal, some still on the tiptoe of expectation, some laughing, 
some in tears — altogether a most beautiful and interesting picture. 

Conservatives then, as now, thought the result of the higher 
education of girls would be to destroy their delicacy and refine- 
ment. But as the graduates of the Troy Seminary were never 
distinguished in after life for the lack of these feminine virtues, 
the most timid, even, gradually accepted the situation and trusted 
their daughters with Mrs. Willard. But that noble woman endured 
for a long period the same ridicule and persecution that women 
now do who take an onward step in the march of progress. 

I see around me none of the familiar faces that greeted my coming 
or said farewell in parting. I do not know that one of my class- 
mates still lives. Friendship with those I knew and loved best 
lasted but a few years, then our ways in life parted. I should not 
know where to find one now, and if I did, probably our ideas would 
differ on every subject, as I have wandered in latitudes beyond 
the prescribed sphere of women. I suppose it is much the same 
with many of you — the familiar faces are all gone, gone to the land 
of shadows, and I hope of sunshine too, where we in turn will soon 

And yet, though we who are left are strangers to one another, 
we have the same memories of the past, of the same type of mis- 
chievous girls and staid teachers; the same long, bare halls and 
stairs, the recitation rooms with the same old blackboards and 
lumps of chalk taken for generation after generation, I suppose, 
from the same pit; the dining room, with its pillars inconveniently 
near some of the tables, with its thick, white crockery and black- 
handled knives, and viands that never suited us, because, forsooth, 
we had boxes of delicacies from home, or we had been out to the 
baker's or confectioner's and bought pies and cocoanut cakes, 
candy, all forbidden, but that added to the relish. There, too, 
were the music rooms, with their old, second-hand pianos, some 

342 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

with rattling keys and tinny sound, on which we were supposed 
to play our scales and exercises for an hour, though we often slyly 
indulged in the "Russian March," "Napoleon Crossing the Rhine," 
or our national airs, when, as slyly, Mr. Powell, our music teacher, 
a bumptious Englishman, would softly open the door and say in 
a stern voice, "Please practice the lesson I just gave you!" 

Our chief delight was to break the rules, but we did not like to 
be caught at it. As we were forbidden to talk with our neighbors 
in study hours, I frequently climbed on top of my bureau to talk 
through a pipe hole with a daughter of Judge Howell of Canan- 
daigua. Once while rooming with Harriet Hudson, a sister of 
Mrs. John Willard, I was moved to a very erratic performance. 
Miss Theresa Lee had rung the bell for retiring, and had taken 
her rounds, as usual, to see that the lights were out and all was 
still, when I peeped out of my door, and seeing the bell at the head 
of the stairs nearby, I gave it one kick and away it went rolling 
and ringing to the bottom. The halls were instantly filled with 
teachers and scholars, all in white robes, asking what was the 
matter. Harriet and I ran around questioning the rest, and what 
a frolic we had, helter-skelter, up and down stairs, in each other's 
rooms, pulling the beds to pieces, changing girls' clothes from one 
room to another, etc., etc. The hall lamps, dimly burning, gave 
us just light enough for all manner of depredations without our 
being recognized, hence the unbounded latitude we all felt for 
mischief. In our whole seminary course — and I was there nearly 
three years — we never had such a frolic as that night. It took 
all the teachers to restore order and quiet us down again for the 
night. No suspicion of any irregularities were ever attached to 
Harriet and myself. Our standing for scholarship was good, 
hence we were supposed to reflect all the moralities. 

Though strangers, you and I have a bond of union in all these 
memories of our bright companions, our good teachers, who took us 
through the pitfalls of logic, rhetoric, philosophy, and the sciences, 
and of the noble woman who founded the institution, and whose 
unselfish devotion in the cause of education we are here to cele- 
brate. The name of Emma Willard is dear to all of us; to know 
her was to love and venerate her. She was not only good and 
gifted, but she was a beautiful woman. She had a finely devel- 
oped figure, well-shaped head, classic features, most genial man- 
ners, and a profound self-respect (a rare quality in woman), that 
gave her a dignity truly royal in every position. Traveling in 

Sixtieth Anniversary of Class of 1832 343 

the Old World she was noticed everywhere as a distinguished 
personage. And all these gifts she dedicated to the earnest pur- 
pose of her life, the higher education of women. 

In opening this seminary she could not find young women capable 
of teaching the higher branches, hence her first necessity was to 
train herself and her ass'stints. Amos B. Eaton, who was the 
principal of the Rensselaer Polytechnic School for boys here in 
Troy, told me Mrs. Willard studied with him every branch he was 
capable of teaching, and trained a corps of teachers and regular 
scholars at the same time. She took lessons of the professor every 
evening when he had leisure, and studied half the night the branches 
she was to teach the next day, thus keeping ahead of her classes. 
Her intense earnestness and mental grasp, the readiness with which 
she turned from one subject to another, and her retentive memory 
of every rule and fact he gave her, was a constant surprise to the 

All her vacation she devoted to training teachers. She was the 
first to suggest the normal-school system. Remembering her 
deep interest in the education of women, we can honor her in no 
more worthy manner than to carry on her special lifework. As 
we look around at all the educated women assembled here to-day 
and try to estimate what each has done in her own sphere of action, 
the schools founded, the teachers sent forth, the inspiration given 
to girls in general, through the long chain of influences started by 
our alma mater, we can form some light estimate of the momentous 
and far-reaching consequences of Emma Willard's life. We have 
not her difficulties to overcome, her trials to endure, but the imper- 
ative duty is laid on each of us to finish the work she so successfully 
began. Schools and colleges of a high order are now everywhere 
open to women, public sentiment welcomes them to whatever 
career they may desire, and our work is to help worthy girls strug- 
gling for a higher education, by founding scholarships in desirable 
institutions in every State in the Union. The most fitting tribute 
we can pay to Emma Willard is to aid in the production of a 
generation of thoroughly educated women. 

There are two kinds of scholarships, equally desirable; a per- 
manent one, where the interest of a fund from year to year will 
support a succession of students, and a temporary one, to help 
some worthy individual as she may require. Someone has sug- 
gested that this association should help young girls in their primary 
education. But as our public schools possess all the advantages 

344 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

for a thorough education in the rudiments of learning and are free 
to all, our scholarships should be bestowed on those whose ability 
and earnestness in the primary department have been proved, and 
whose capacity for a higher education is fully shown. 

This is the best work women of wealth can do, and I hope in 
the future they will endow scholarships for their own sex instead 
of giving millions of dollars to institutions for boys, as they have 
done in the past. After all the bequests women have made to 
Harvard, see how niggardly that institution, in its "annex," treats 
their daughters. I once asked a wealthy lady to give a few thou-* 
sands of dollars to start a medical college and hospital for women 
in New York. She said before making bequests she always con- 
sulted her minister and her Bible. He told her there was nothing 
said in the Bible about colleges for women. I said, "Tell him he 
is mistaken. If he will turn to 2 Chron. xxxiv. 22, he will find that 
when Josiah, the king, sent the wise men to consult Huldah, the 
prophetess, about the book ot laws discovered in the temple, they 
found Huldah in the college in Jerusalem, thoroughly well informed 
on questions of state, while Shallum, her husband, was keeper of 
the robes. I suppose his business was to sew on the royal buttons. 
But in spite of this Scriptural authority, the rich lady gave thirty 
thousand dollars to Princeton and never one cent for the education 
of her own sex. 

Of all the voices to which these walls have echoed for over half 
a century, how few remain to tell the story of the early days, and 
when we part, how few of us will ever meet again; but I know we 
shall carry with us some new inspiration for the work that still 
remains for us to do. Though many of us are old in years, we may 
still be young in heart. Women trained to concentrate all their 
thoughts on the family circle are apt to think — when their children 
are grown up, their loved ones gone, their servants trained to keep 
the domestic machinery in motion — that their work in life is done, 
that no one needs now their thought and care, quite forgetting that 
the hey-day of woman's life is on the shady side of fifty, when the 
vital forces heretofore expended in other ways are garnered in the 
brain, when their thoughts and sentiments flow out in broader 
channels, when philanthropy takes the place ot family selfishness, 
and when from the depths of poverty and suffering the wail of 
humanity grows as pathetic to their ears as once was the cry of 
their own children. 

Or, perhaps, the pressing cares of family life ended, the woman 

Sixtieth Anniversary of Class of 1832 345 

may awake to some slumbering genius in herself for art, science, 
or literature, with which to gild the sunset of her days. Longfellow's 
beautiful poem, "Morituri Salutamus," written for a similar 
occasion to this, is full of hope and promise for all of us. He says: 

"Something remains for us to do or dare; 
Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear. 
Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles 
Wrote his grand (Edipus, and Simonides 
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers, 
When each had numbered more than four-score years, 
And Theophrastus, at three-score and ten, 
Had but begun his Characters of Men; 
Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales, 
At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales; 
Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last, 
Completed Faust when eighty years were past. 
These are indeed exceptions; but they show 
How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow 
Into the Arctic regions of our lives, 
Where little else than life itself survives. 
For age is opportunity no less 
Than youth itself, though in another dress, 
And as the evening twilight fades away 
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." 

Chapter XXVI: My Eightieth Birthday 

WITHOUT my knowledge my lifelong friend, 
Susan B. Anthony, who always seems 
to appreciate homage tendered to me 
more highly than even to herself, made arrangements 
for the celebration of my eightieth birthday, on the 
1 2th of November, 1895. 1 She preferred that this 
celebration should be conducted by the National 
Council of Women, composed of a large number of or- 
ganizations representing every department of woman's 
labor, though, as the enfranchisement of woman had 
been my special life work, it would have been more 
appropriate if the celebration had been under the 
auspices of the National Woman's Suffrage Association. 
Mrs. Mary Lowe Dickinson, President of the 
National Council of Women, assumed the financial 
responsibility and the extensive correspondence in- 
volved, and with rare tact, perseverance, and execu- 
tive ability made the celebration a complete success. 
In describing this occasion I cannot do better than to 
reproduce, in part, Mrs. Dickinson's account, pub- 
lished in The Arena: 

In the month of June, 1895, the National Council of Women 
issued the following invitation: 

"Believing that the progress made by women in the last half 
century may be promoted by a more general notice of their achieve- 

1 Diary, November 13, 1895. 

My Eightieth Birthday 347 

ments, we propose to hold, in New York City, a convention foe 
this purpose. As an appropriate time for such a celebration, the 
eightieth birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton has been chosen. 
Her half century of pioneer work for the rights of women makes 
her name an inspiration for such an occasion and her life a fitting 
object for the homage of all women. 

"This National Council is composed of twenty organizations; 
these and all other societies interested are invited to co-operate 
in grateful recognition of the debt the present generation owes to 
the pioneers of the past. From their interest in the enfranchise- 
ment of women, the influence of Mrs. Stanton and her coadjutor, 
Miss Anthony, has permeated all departments of progress and 
made them a common center round which all interested in woman's 
higher development may gather." 

To this invitation came responses, from the Old World and the 
New, expressing sympathy with the proposed celebration, which, 
was intended to emphasize a great principle by showing the lofti- 
ness of character that had resulted from its embodiment in a 
unique personality. The world naturally thinks of the person- 
ality before it thinks of the principle. It has, at least, so much 
unconscious courtesy left as to honor a noble woman, even when 
failing to rightly apprehend a noble cause. To afford this feeling 
its proper expression, to render more tangible all vague sympathy, 
to crystallize the growing sentiment in favor of human freedom, 
to give youth the opportunity to reverence the glory of age, to 
give hearts their utterances in word and song was perhaps the most 
popular purpose of the reunion. In other words, it gave an oppor- 
tunity for those who revered Mrs. Stanton as a queen among 
women to show their reverence, and to recognize the work her life 
had wrought, and to see in it an epitome of the progress of a century. 

The celebration was also an illustration of the distinctive idea 
of the National Council of Women, which aims to give recogni- 
tion to all human effort without demanding uniformity of opinion 
as a basis of co-operation. It claims to act upon a unity of service, 
notwithstanding differences of creed and methods. The things 
that separate shrank back into the shadows where they belong, 
and all hearts brave enough to think, and tender enough to feel, 
found it easy to unite in homage to a life which had known a half 
century of struggle to lift humanity from bondage and womanhood 
from shame. 

This reunion was the first general recognition of the debt the 
1.— 23 

348 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

present owes to the past. It was the first effort to show the extent 
to which later development has been inspired and made possible 
by the freedom to think and work claimed in that earlier time by 
women like Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Mrs. Stanton, and many 
others whose names stand as synonyms of noble service for the 
race. To those who looked at the reunion from this point of 
view it could not fail of inspiration. 

For the followers in lines of philanthropic work to look in the 
faces and hear the voices of women like Clara Barton and Mary 
Livermore; for the multitude enlisted in the crowded ranks of 
literature to feel in the living presence, what literature owes to 
women like Julia Ward Howe; for the white ribbon army to turn 
from its one great leader of to-day whose light, spreading to the 
horizon, does not obscure or dim the glory of the crusade leaders 
of the past; for art lovers and art students to call to mind sculptors 
like Harriet Hosmer and Anna Whitney, and remember the days 
when art was a sealed book to women; for the followers of the 
truly divine art of healing to honor the Blackwell sisters and the 
memory of Mme. Clemence Lozier; for the mercy of surgery to 
reveal itself in the face of Dr. Cushier, who has proved for us that 
heart of pity and hand of skill need never be divorced; for women 
lifting their eyes to meet the face of Phebe A. Hanaford and Anna 
Shaw and other women who to-day in the pulpit, as well as out of 
it, may use a woman's right to minister to needy souls; for the 
ofttime sufferers from unrighteous law to welcome women lawyers; 
for the throng of working women to read backward through the 
story of four hundred industries to their beginning in the "four," 
and remember that each new door had opened because some women 
toiled and strove; for all these the exercises were a part of a great 
thanksgiving paean, each phase of progress striking its own chord, 
and finding each its echo in the hearts that held it dear. 

To the student of history, or to him who can read the signs of 
the times, there was such a profound significance in this occasion 
as makes one shrink from dwelling too much upon the external 
details. Yet as a pageant only it was a most inspiring sight, and 
one truly worthy of a queen. Indeed as we run the mind back 
over the pages of history, what queen came to a more triumphant 
throne in the hearts of a grateful people? What woman ever 
before sat silver-crowned, canopied with flowers, surrounded not 
by servile followers but by men and women who brought to her 
court the grandest service they had wrought, their best thought 

My Eightieth Birthday 349 

crystallized in speech and song? Greater than any triumphal 
procession that ever marked a royal passage through a kingdom 
was it to know that in a score or more of cities, in many a village 
church on that same night festive fires were lighted, and the throng 
kept holiday, bringing for tribute not gold and gems, but noblest 
aspirations, truest gratitude, and highest ideals for the nation 
and the race. 

The great meeting was but one link in a chain; yet with its 
thousands of welcoming faces, with its eloquence of words, with 
its offering of sweetest song from the children of a race that once 
was bound but now is free, with its pictured glimpses of the old 
time and the new flashing out upon the night, with the home 
voices offering welcome and gratitude and love, with numberless 
greetings, from the great, true, brave souls of many lands, it was 
indeed a wonderful tribute, worthy of the great warm heart of a 
nation that offered it, and worthy of the woman so revered. 

It seemed fitting that Mme. Antoinette Sterling, who, twenty 
years ago, took her wonderful voice away to England, where it 
won for her a unique place in the hearts of the nation, should, on 
returning to her country, give her first service to the womanhood 
of her native land. "I am coming a week earlier," so she had 
written, "that my first work in my own beloved America may be 
done for women. I am coming as a woman and not as an artist, 
and because I so glory in that which the women of my country 
have achieved. " So when she sang out of her heart, "O rest in 
the Lord; wait patiently for Him!" no marvel that it seemed to 
lift all listening hearts to a recognition of the divine secret and 
source of power for all work. 

One charming feature of the entertainment was a series of pic- 
tures called "Then and Now," each illustrating the change in 
woman's condition during the last fifty years. And after this, 
upon the dimness there shone out, one after another, the names 
of noble women like Mary Lyon, Maria Mitchell, Emma Willard, 
and many others who have passed away. Upon the shadows and 
the silence broke Mme. Sterling's voice in Tennyson's "Crossing 
the Bar." And when this was over, as with one voice, the whole 
audience sang softly "Auld Lang Syne." 

And last but not least should be mentioned the greetings that 
poured in a shower of telegrams and letters from every section of 
the country, and many from over the sea. These expressions, 
not only of personal congratulation for Mrs. Stanton, but utter- 

3 So Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

ances of gladness for the progress in woman's life and thought, 
for the conditions, already so much better than in the past, and 
for the hope for the future, would make of themselves a most 
interesting and wonderful chapter. Among them may be men- 
tioned letters from Lord and Lady Aberdeen, from Lady Henry Som- 
erset, and Frances E. Willard, from Canon Wilberforce, and many 
others, including an address from thirty members of the family 
of John Bright, headed by his brother, the Right Honorable Jacob 
Bright; a beautifully engrossed address, on parchment, from the 
National Woman Suffrage Society of Scotland, an address from 
the London Women's Franchise League, and a cablegram from 
the Bristol Women's Liberal Association; a letter from the Women's 
Rights Society of Finland, signed by its president, Baroness Gripen- 
berg of Helsingfors; telegrams from the California Suffrage Pioneers; 
and others from the Chicago Woman's Club, from the Toledo and 
Ohio Woman's Suffrage Society, from the son of the Rev. Dr. 
William Ellery Channing, and a telegram and letter from citizens 
and societies of Seneca Falls, New York, accompanied with flowers 
and many handsome pieces of silver from the different societies. 
There were also letters from Hon. Oscar S. Strauss, ex-minister 
to Turkey, Miss Ellen Terry, and scores of others. An address 
was received from the Women's Association of Utah, accompanied 
by a beautiful onyx and silver ballot box; and from the Shaker 
women of Mount Lebanon came an ode; a solid silver loving cup 
from the New York City Suffrage League, presented on the plat- 
form with a few appropriate words by its president, Mrs. Devereux 

Hundreds of organizations and societies, both in this country 
and abroad, wished to have their names placed on record as in 
sympathy with the movement. Many organizations were present 
in a body, and one was reminded, by the variety and beauty of 
the decorations of their boxes, of the Venetian Carnival, as the 
occupants gazed down from amid the silken banners and the 
flowers, upon the throng below. The whole occasion was indeed 
a unique festival, unique in its presentation, as well as in its pur- 
pose, plan, character, and spirit. No woman present could fail 
to be impressed with what we owe to the women of the past, and 
especially to this one woman who was the honored guest of the 
occasion. And no young woman could desire to forget the picture 
of this aged form as, leaning upon her staff, Mrs. Stanton spoke 
to the great audience of over six thousand, as she had spoken 

My Eightieth Birthday 351 

hundreds of times before in legislative halls, and whenever her 
word could influence the popular sentiment in favor of justice for 
all mankind. 

My birthday celebration, with all the testimonials 
of love and friendship I received, was an occasion of 
such serious thought and deep feeling as I had never 
before experienced. Having been accustomed for half 
a century to blame rather than praise, I was surprised 
with such a manifestation of approval; I could endure 
any amount of severe criticism with complacency, but 
such an outpouring of homage and affection stirred me 
profoundly. To calm myself during that week of 
excitement, I thought many times of Michelet's wise 
motto "Let the weal and woe of humanity be every- 
thing to you, their praise and blame of no effect; be 
not puffed up with the one nor cast down with the 

Naturally at such a time I reviewed my life, its 
march and battle on the highways of experience, and 
counted its defeats and victories. I remembered when 
a few women called the first convention to discuss their 
disabilities, that our conservative friends said: "You 
have made a great mistake, you will be laughed at from 
Maine to Texas and beyond the sea; God has set the 
bounds of woman's sphere, and she should be satisfied 
with her position." Their prophecy was more than 
realized; we were unsparingly ridiculed by the press 
and pulpit both in England and America. But now 
many conventions are held each year in both countries 
to discuss the same ideas; social customs have changed; 
laws have been modified; municipal suffrage has been 
granted to women in England and some of her colonies; 

352 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

school suffrage has been granted to women in half of 
our states, municipal suffrage in Kansas, and full suf- 
frage in four states of the Union. Thus the principle 
scouted in 1848 was accepted in England in 1870, and 
since then, year by year, it has slowly progressed in 
America until the fourth star shone out on our flag in 
1896, and Idaho enfranchised her women! That first 
convention, considered a " grave mistake" in 1848, is 
now referred to as "a grand step in progress. " 

My next mistake was when, as president of the New 
York State Woman's Temperance Association, I 
demanded the passage of a statute allowing wives an 
absolute divorce for the brutality and intemperance of 
their husbands. I addressed the Legislature of New 
York a few years later when a similar bill was pending, 
and also large audiences in several of our chief cities, 
and for this I was severely denounced. To-day fugi- 
tives from such unholy ties can secure freedom in 
many of the Western states, and enlightened public 
sentiment sustains mothers in refusing to hand down 
an appetite fraught with so many evil consequences. 
This, also called a "mistake" in i860, was regarded as 
a "step in progress" a few years later. 

Again, I urged my coadjutors by speeches, letters, 
and resolutions, as a means of widespread agitation, 
to make the same demands of the Church that we had 
already made of the State. They objected, saying, 
"That is too revolutionary; an attack on the Church 
would injure the suffrage movement." But I steadily 
made the demand, as opportunity offered, that women 
be ordained to preach the Gospel and to fill the offices 
as elders, deacons, and trustees. A few years later 

My Eightieth Birthday 353 

some of these suggestions were accepted. Some 
churches did ordain women as pastors over congrega- 
tions of their own, others elected women deaconesses, 
and a few churches allowed women, as delegates, to 
sit in their conferences. Thus this demand was in a 
measure honored, and another *' step in progress " 

The birthday celebration was to me more than a 
beautiful pageant; more than a personal tribute. It 
was the dawn of a new day for the Mothers of the 
Race! The harmonious co-operation of so many dif- 
ferent organizations, with divers interests and opinions, 
in one grand jubilee was, indeed, a heavenly vision of 
peace and hope; a prophecy that with the exaltation 
of Womanhood would come new Life, Light, and 
Liberty to all mankind. 





1848 Call to Seneca Falls Convention (July 14). 
Declaration of Sentiments (July 19). 
Resolution demanding vote (July 20). 
Address at Seneca Falls, New York (July 20). 
Address at Rochester, New York (August 2). 
Article in Rochester National Reformer, September 4. 
Address at Quaker Meeting House, Farmington, New York. 
Address at Junius, New York. 

1849 Address at Waterloo, New York (September). 

1850 Letter to the Woman's Rights Convention at Worcester, 


1 85 1 Letter to Akron, Ohio, Convention (May 25) . 
In The Lily article, signed J. V. N. 
Editorials entitled: 

"Man in Petticoats," "Detroit Tribune," "Lowell Girls." 
Address at Glen Haven, New York (August). 

1852 Address as president of Temperance Association (April 20). 
Letter to Syracuse Convention (September 6). 

1853 Letter to Convention on Marriage (February). 
Temperance address (June 1) 

1854 Address before New York Legislature (February 20). 
Appeal to women of the state of New York (January). 

1855 Address on Education before the Teachers' Association of 

Cayuga County, New York. 
Address at Rochester (March). 
Address at Waterloo, New York. 
Article in the Buffalo Democracy (September). 
Open letter to Gerrit Smith (December 21). 

356 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

1856 Special Report on Rights of Married Woman, prepared for 

Horace Mann (May). 
Address on Woman's Rights for Fourth Annual Convention, 

Pennsylvania Progressive Friends. 
Letter to same for publication in Annual Report. 
Letter to Woman's Rights Convention, Cooper Union, 

New York. 

1857 Antislavery Address (September). 

1858 Address on Woman Suffrage at Junius, New York (June). 

1859 Memorial to Legislature of New York (May). 
Appeal for signatures to petition (June). 

Tract on Woman Suffrage for state-wide distribution (July). 
i860 Address before Judiciary Committee of New York Senate 

(February 18). 
Address at American Antislavery Society, New York 

Address on Divorce (May n). 

Letter on Divorce in New York Tribune (May 30). 
Appeal to Women of New York (November). 
1 861 Address before Judiciary Committee, New York Legislature 

(February 8). 
Address on Divorce before Judiciary Committee of New 

York Senate (February). 

1863 Appeal to the Women of the Republic, in New York Tribune 

Call to meeting of Loyal Women (March). 
Address opening meeting of Loyal Women (March 14). 
Appeal to Abraham Lincoln (March 14). 
Address at Boston (June). 

1864 Address at Peterboro, New York (November). 
Address at Canastota, New York (November). 

1866 Letter on Resolutions before Congress, Antislavery Stand' 
ard (January 2). 

Call to first National Woman's Rights Convention after the 
Civil War (March 31). 

Address to Congress from Eleventh Woman's Rights Con- 
vention (May 10). 

Address as a candidate to Congressional Electors of the Eighth 
Congressional District, state of New York (October 10). 

Letter on "This is the Negro's Hour," Antislavery Stand- 
ard (December 26). 

Appendix 357 

1867 Address in Assembly Chamber before New York Senate 

Judiciary Committee on the right of all citizens to vote 

for delegates to a Constitutional Convention (January 23). 
Speech before Convention of the American Equal Rights 

Association (May 9). 
Address before New York Constitutional Convention 

(June 27). 

1868 Weekly editorials for The Revolution. First number issued 

January 6. 
Address before New Jersey Woman Suffrage Convention, 
Vineland (October). 

1869 Address appealing for XVI Amendment, National Woman 

Suffrage Convention (January 19). 

Address before Congressional Committee of the District of 
Columbia (January 20). 

Address before Universal Franchise Association, Wash- 
ington, D. C. (February). 

Address before Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Convention, 
Milwaukee (February 15). 

Address before Legislature of Wisconsin (February). 

1870 Address before United States Senate Judiciary Committee 

Address on Marriage and Divorce. 
Address on McFarland-Richardson case. Cooper Union 

Address on The True Republic (June). 

1 871 Speeches in California (July). 

1872 Address before United States Senate Judiciary Committee 

(January 10). 
Address on Our Girls. 
Address on Our Boys. 

1873 Article on case against Susan B. Anthony for voting, New 

York Times, June 30. 
Address before Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention 

1874 Articles in the Graphic. 

1876 Address to the National Democratic Convention as presi- 
dent of the National Woman Suffrage Association (June). 
Declaration of Rights for Women presented at 1876 Cen- 
tennial Celebration (July 4). 

35 8 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Letter to Philadelphia Friends on First Woman's Rights 
Convention (July). 

Appeal for a petition calling for a XVI Amendment (Novem- 
ber 10). 

Call to the National Woman Suffrage Convention (Novem- 
ber 10). 

1877 Letter in the Ballot Box on National Woman Suffrage Con- 

vention (January 24). 
Sermon on the Parable of the Ten Virgins (February). 

1878 Address before Committee on Privileges and Elections of 

United States Senate in favor of a XVI Amendment to 
United States Constitution (January 11). 
Address on Home Life (August). 

1879 Address to the President of the United States (January). 
Sermon in Union Methodist Church, St. Louis. Published 

in full Monday, May 12, in St. Louis Globe. 

1 88 1 Address before Committee of Delaware Legislature (Feb- 

Eulogy of Lucretia Mott (February). 
History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. I. 

1882 Presenting Vol. I of Woman Suffrage History to members of 

the United States Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage 
(January 24). 

History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. II. 

Letter to National Woman Suffrage Association Convention 

Address at Glasgow, Scotland, demonstration on winning 
municipal suffrage for Scotchwomen (November 2). 

Address at Glasgow (November 3). 

Address at Mechanics Hall, Manchester, England (Novem- 
ber 7). 

Article, "Health of American Women," in North American 
Review (December, 1882). 

1883 Letter to National Woman Suffrage Convention (January). 
Address at Bristol, England. Liberal Club (May 17). 
Address to women alone, Bristol (May 18). 

Sermon, Methodist Church, Bristol (May 20). 
Sketch of Susan B. Anthony, Our Famous Women. 
Address at Princess Hall, London, England (June). 
Sermon, "Has the Christian Religion done Aught to Elevate 
Woman?" South Place Chapel, London (July 21). 

Appendix 359 

1884 Call to National Woman Suffrage Convention (March). 
Address before the United States Senate Committee on 

Woman Suffrage on Self-Government the Best Means of 

Self-Development (March 7). 
Address before Nineteenth Century Club on The Church 

and Woman (April 29). 
Contributions to Johnstown Democrat, May. 
Article, "The Need of Liberal Divorce Laws," in North 

American Review (September). 
Article on "Women and Christianity," in Boston Index. 
Letter to Woman Suffrage Convention, Providence, Rhode 

Island (December). 

1885 Address on Disabilities and Limitations of Sex before 

National Woman Suffrage Association (January 20). 

Speech on Women and Religion (January 21). 

Address in Senate Chamber, Albany, New York (Feb- 
ruary 5). 

Sermon in Unitarian Church, Troy, New York (February 18). 

Address in Assembly Chamber, Albany, New York, before 
Committee on Grievances (February 19). 

Articles in Johnstown, New York, papers on "Church Car- 
riage Sheds and Taxation of Church Property" (March). 

Article, "Has Christianity Benefited Woman?" North 
American Review (May). 

1886 Letter and Resolution on Woman's Equality in the Church 

for National Suffrage Convention (February). 

Article, "Our Boys on Sunday," mForum (April). 

History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. III. 

Letter to Convention of National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion (February). 

1887 Letter to Convention of National Woman Suffrage Associa- 

tion (January). 
Call to International Council (June). 

1888 Address of Welcome to International Council, Washington, 

D. C. (March 25). 
Closing address of International Council (March 31). 
Address before United States Senate Committee on Woman 

Suffrage (April 2). 
Address at Nebraska Convention, Boyd's Opera House, 

Omaha (December 3), 

360 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Memorial address for Orpha C. Dinsmore (December). 
Appeal to give Ohio women right to vote for members to 
Constitutional Convention. 

1889 Letter to Convention of National Woman Suffrage Associa- 

tion (January). 
Woman's Column in the Omaha Republican. 
Articles in Omaha Bee. 

Reminiscences in Woman's Tribune, beginning April. 
Address before Seidl Club, New York (July). 

1890 Address before United States Senate Committee on Woman 

Suffrage (February 8). 
Address in honor of seventieth birthday of Susan B. Anthony 

(February 15). 
Opening address as president of National American Woman 

Suffrage Association (February 18). 
Article on "Divorce" in Arena (April). 

Address, "Wyoming the First Free State for Women" (July). 
Article, "Wyoming Admitted as a State into the Union, 

Westminster Review (September). 
Review of "The Ethic of Free Thought" by Karl Pierson 


1891 Article, "Patriotism and Chastity," in Westminster Review 

Address, "The Matriarchate," for National Woman's 

Letter to Suffrage Convention at Boston, Massachusetts. 
Address before National Liberal Club, London, England 

Address sent to National Woman Suffrage Convention. 

1892 Address, "The Solitude of Self," before Judiciary Com- 

mittee of the United States House of Representatives. 
Article, "Sunday at the World's Fair," in North American 

Review (February). 
Address before Brooklyn Woman Suffrage Club (February). 
Address before Sorosis (March 21). 
Address before The New Radical Club (April). 
Address, "Fifty Years of Progress," at luncheon of New 

York Suffrage League (May). 
Address at dedication of new building, Emma Willard 

Seminary, Troy, New York (June). 

Appendix 361 

Addresses to National Conventions of political parties (July). 

Address at Peterboro (September 8). 

Letters to Suffrage Convention (November). 

Appeal for representation in coming Constitutional Con- 

Address at Foremothers* Day banquet, New York (Decem- 

1893 Address sent to Convention of the National American 

Woman Suffrage Association. 

Three addresses for Chicago Exhibition Congress (June). 

Leaflet, "Open the World's Fair on Sunday." 

Fourth address for Chicago Congresses (July). 

Address for Religious Congress at Chicago (August). 

Leaflets on Plan of Suffrage Campaign and Resolutions 
for Brooklyn Convention (November). 

Address, "Christmas 1620-1893 Contrasted," at Fore- 
mothers' Dinner (December 22). 

Address to women of Ethical Culture Society. 

1894 Speech for Washington Suffrage Convention (February). 
Tribute to the memory of Lucy Stone (February). 
Literature on New York Constitutional Convention (May). 
Address in New York City. 

Contributions to New York City press on Constitutional 

Article, "Women's Rights," for Johnson* s Universal Cyclo- 
pedia (April). 

Address on Suffrage at Sherry's (May 3). 

Address at the Misses Ely's School (May). 

Address at Cooper Union (May 7). 

Articles for newspapers (June). 

1895 The Woman's Bible , Part I, The Pentateuch. 

Memorial addresses for Frederick Douglass, John Hutchin- 
son and Theodore Weld. 

Address for Woman Suffrage Convention, Atlanta, Georgia. 

Address for National Council of Women (February). 

Address at celebration of her eightieth birthday, Metro- 
politan Opera House, New York (November). 

1896 Address to Judiciary Committee of the United States House 

of Representatives (January 28). 
Article, "Should Women Ride the Bicycle," in The Wheelman 

362 Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Address, Independence Day, Geneva, New York. 
Open letters to all Presidential candidates (October). 

1897 Article in New York Sun, "National Tributes to Napoleon 

and Grant." 
Address, Independence Day, for Revolutionary Dames, 

Geneva, New York. 
Address, Geneva Sanitarium. 

1898 Eighty Years and More, a volume of reminiscences. 
Address, "Our Defeats and our Triumphs" (February). 
Address to Congressional Committees on "The Significance 

of the Ballot" (February). 
Woman s Bible, Part II, The New Testament. 

1899 Letter to National American Woman Suffrage Association 

Resolution to Convention. 
Article, "Trailing Skirts and No Pockets" (June). 

1900 Address, "The Basis of Representation," for House Judiciary 

Committee (February 3). 
Memorials to National Presidential Conventions. 
Article, "Are Homogeneous Divorce Laws in all the States 

Desirable?" in North American Review (March). 
Article in New York Sun on Subways (May 21). 
Address, West Hampton, Long Island (July). 
Article, "A Remarkable Household," in the daily press 

Article, "Progress of the American Woman," in North 

American Review (December). 
Article, in Cosmopolitan. 

1901 Articles, "Make Pockets Unto Yourselves," "Dirty Streets," 

"Overcrowded Street Cars," "High Buildings," "Venti- 
lation in Schools," in the daily press (January). 

1902 Article, "The Feminine Element" (January). 

Address, "Educated Suffrage" for the National Woman 
Suffrage Association Convention (February). 

Letter to President Roosevelt (October 24). 

Article on Christian Mythology in New York American 
(October 27). 


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